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  • Mortgage approvals for house purchase and for remortgaging rose over the three months to May, with the number of house purchase approvals in May the highest since December 2009, according to data released by the Bank of England. 58,200 mortgages were approved for house purchase in May, a 20% rise on the same month last year. The number of remortgages approved during the month totalled 32,600, a 17% increase on a year ago.

UK Economy

  • The Government deficit is slowly falling. Stronger than previously estimated tax receipts have helped reduce public sector net borrowing in 2012/13 by £2.3 billion, according to data released by ONS. In the last financial  year public sector net borrowing, excluding the temporary effects,  was £116.5 billion. This is £2.1 billion lower than in 2011/12. The downward trend continued in June 2013; public sector net borrowing during the month excluding temporary effects of financial interventions (PSNBex) was £8.5 billion. This is £3.4 billion lower than in June 2012 when it was £11.9 billion.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded a 2.9% rise in prices over the year to June, up from an annual rate of 2.7% in May, according to ONS. The Retail Prices Index similarly recorded an acceleration in inflation, edging up to 3.1% during the year to June compared to 2.9% the previous month. The ONS has also launched a new inflationary measure, CPIH, which includes owner occupiers’ housing costs; this grew by 2.7% in the year to June 2013, up from 2.5% in May.
  • Retail sales remain on a gradual upward trend. The volume of retail sales rose by 0.2% during June against the previous month and was 2.2% higher than a year ago. The volume of retail sales in the second quarter were 0.9% up on the first three months of 2013 and 1.8% higher than year ago. The price of goods sold in the retail sector rose by 1.7% over the year to June. The rise in prices and retail sales volumes combined to lift the value of retail sales by 3.8% compared to June 2012.  

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