LONDON — The amount of outstanding loans held by Britain’s manufacturers has spiked suddenly in the past few months, new data released by the Bank of England on Wednesday showed.
Loans to the manufacturing sector in July grew by 31.3% compared to the same period in 2016, while other major industries like services and construction saw their total loan books remain largely static.
That increase represents growth of around £6.6 billion, with the total loan book at £49.7 billion.
The chart below, from the BoE’s Money and Credit statistics for the month, shows the scale of the increase:
The bank provides no explanation for the huge jump within its credit statistics. Sterling’s depreciation since the referendum has often been cited as a potential boon for manufacturers as cheaper sterling makes British goods better value overseas.
Alongside news of the jump in the manufacturers’ borrowing, the Bank of England also reported on Wednesday that the outstanding amount of consumer credit — effectively how much regular people and households are borrowing — fell in July.
Brits borrowed £1.179 billion in July. Expectations had been that they’d borrow closer to £1.5 billion, and the figure represented a fall from £1.351 billion in June.
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