UK mortgage approvals rose for the fourth straight month in September, possibly signalling the success of the BoE’s funding for lending scheme. Home loans were up to 50,024 in September, beating expectations for 48,700, and higher than August’s revised 47,921 mortgages.
Net consumer credit was 1.2 billion Pounds in September, according to the Bank of England. Earlier today, housing prices were reported to have fallen 0.1% in the UK according to the Hometrack Housing Survey.
As Spain is expected to contract for the fifth consecutive quarter, the heightening threat for a prolonged recession will continue to dampen the appeal of the Euro, and the European Central Bank might come under additional pressure to expand monetary policy further as the governments functioning under the single-currency become increasingly dependent on monetary support.
The ECB may have little choice but to push the benchmark interest rate further to a fresh record-low amid the weakening outlook for growth and inflation, and we may see the Governing Council carry its easing cycle into the following year as European policy makers struggle to stem the threat for contagion. The EURUSD slipped as an 11% drop in Spanish retail sales dampened the outlook for the euro-area, and the single currency may face additional headwinds.