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Consumers 'focusing on savings'

Consumers are continuing to pay down their debts and are also focusing on saving, according to new figures.

Figures from the British Bankers Association show that the amount deposited by savers in March soared to £2.38 billion, from £746 million in February.

Meanwhile some £38 million was repaid on credit cards, loans and overdrafts as unsecured borrowing figures remained negative.

Within the total, credit card debt rose by £149 million in the month, as a result of interest and charges, with repayments continuing to outstrip new spending.

Borrowing through loans and overdrafts contracted for the 20th consecutive month, with people repaying £187 million more than was advanced in new debt.

Meanwhile the number of mortgages approved for house purchase rose to an eight-month high during March as activity in the property market showed signs of picking up.

A total of 31,660 loans were approved for people buying a new home, 5 per cent more than during the previous month and the highest level since July last year.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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