It’s been an interesting past year for financial trends! In the consumer sector, we’re seeing one particular item leap out in front of our eyes: loans and card debt. There are some rather startling figures attached to the last month here, and we’re going to talk about them in a little more detail right here and right now.

Rises in December

Credit cards have been far from quiet, with reports of an increase in December of 2019 of a significant 7.3%. Personal borrowing, a major market in the UK in particular, leapt up in the same month by an alarming 14%. For reference, these stats have been provided by the trade body UK Finance.

Repayments, however, appear to continue to offset this spending. What’s the result of that kind of scenario, you might ask? Simply put, borrowing on cards is growing at a more stable rate of 2.4%. In fact, this figure, while an increase, is a slowing of growth from previous highs seen as seen in October 2016, when total growth hit 6.6%.

Loans going up

Loans are also on the rise. December 2019 saw the market grow much more than was the case one year prior, with a 14% increase over the previous year’s records. We’re not surprised to see this boost in figures; the 2018 December market was particularly weak. A boost has long been anticipated.

Contactless growth continues

Of surprise to few, the consistent growth of contactless credit card use continues. We’re now seeing that no less than one-third of all credit card transactions made in the UK – and just about half of every debit card transaction – have been made using contactless technology, resulting in an impressive 1.6 billion transactions on debit alone in October of 2019.

That’s almost a ten percent rise from the previous year. Total spending for that? A smooth £51 billion, making for a total increase of around two percent more than the same time in 2018.

In total, the statistics we’re looking at report almost three hundred million total transactions made on credit cards in October of last year, making for a total spend of £16.6 billion and a 2.7% drop in total use for the same period one year prior.

Outstanding balances on the rise
While we’re seeing the growth of outstanding credit card balances continue, the trend itself continues to be downward. From a peak of 8.3% in outstanding balances at the beginning of 2018, we’re now seeing late 2019 reports show a comparatively small 3.3% total figure.

Can we help?

We hope you’ve found this roundup of credit, debit and related spending statistics helpful! Stick around at the Digiconomy news section for more breaking news and discussion on topics relating to consumer finance and more.

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