British households find it easier to get credit - survey

LONDON Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:37am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are finding it increasingly easy to get unsecured loans and remain in a mood to spend, according to survey on Monday that highlights the role credit is playing in the country's recovery.

Survey compiler Markit said households' perceptions of credit availability rose to 48.4 in August from 47.7 in July. That was the third consecutive rise and the highest since the series began during the depths of the financial crisis in February 2009.

Britain's economy has picked up sharply since the start of the year, helped in large part by consumer demand bolstered by government schemes to ease home purchase. Revised growth data due on Friday will show more clearly the degree to which growth has been driven by consumption.

Households reported an increase in spending during August, with 24 percent noting a rise and only 16 percent a reduction, the survey showed. The index measuring appetite for major purchases remained at July's three-year high.

"A brightening economic and financial outlook, alongside some signs of improved access to household credit, looks to have spurred consumer spending again in August," said senior Markit economist Tim Moore.

A breakdown by sector showed financial wellbeing was highest among those in private sector service jobs. Those working in the public sector continued to trail behind.

On a regional basis, people in Scotland and the south of England were the most upbeat about their finances, while those in Wales and the north of England were most pessimistic - a trend that has become well established over the past year.

(Reporting by Christina Fincher; editing by Ron Askew)

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