May 4, 2011 / 8:39 AM / 8 years ago

UK March mortgage approvals slightly lower than forecast

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - British net mortgage and consumer lending was weaker than expected in March, despite a rise in mortgage approvals to their highest since November last year, Bank of England figures showed on Wednesday.

British mortgage approvals for house purchase rose to 47,557 in March from 46,708 in February, its highest level since November but just below forecasts for a reading of 48,000.

Unsecured consumer lending rose by 0.1 billion pounds, also short of a 0.45 billion pound forecast. Net mortgage lending was up just 0.4 billion pounds, again less than the 1.0 billi on pounds forecast.

The BoE’s preferred gauge of money supply, M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations rose by 0.1 percent on the month.

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