Australian borrowing slows

Mark Bristow

Mark Bristow

( 2 min read )

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Australians are making fewer new borrowing commitments, but are more likely to borrow to buy a home or to spend on a credit card, according to the latest lending finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

While owner occupied housing finance was up 0.2% in trend terms, it was down by 1.9% in seasonally adjusted terms.

Commercial finance, which covers business lending as well as housing investments for rental or resale, fell by 0.3% on a trend basis, and by 1.6% in seasonally adjusted terms.

These figures fall in line with the recent ABS Housing Finance report, which indicated a move away from investment housing.

The value of personal finance commitments fell by 0.3% in trend terms, and by 2.5% when seasonally adjusted.

Fixed lending commitments such as personal and car loans were down by 1.3% on a trend basis, and by 2.5% when seasonally adjusted.

While revolving credit commitments such as credit cards rose by 1.4% on a trend basis, these were down by 3.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Lease finance, which includes some car loans and leases of construction and industrial equipment, also fell by 1.3% on a trend basis in March 2018, and by 1.8% seasonally adjusted.

Lending finance Feb 2018 to Mar 2018 change, trend Feb 2018 to Mar 2018 change, seasonally adjusted
Housing finance for owner occupation 0.2% -1.9%
Personal finance -0.3% -2.5%
Commercial finance -0.3% -1.6%
Lease finance -1.3% -1.8%

Source: ABS

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