Outstanding credit card balances jumped by 10.1% annually in October

Outstanding credit card balances jumped by 10.1% annually in October

That's according to UK Finance

The outstanding credit card balances belonging to UK cardholders jumped by 10.1% in total in the 12 months to October 2022, according to a trade association.

In total, £59.7 billion in credit card balances was outstanding in October 2022, UK Finance said.

There were 354.6 million credit card transactions in October, 11.3% more than in October 2021.

The total spend of £19.2 billion on credit cards was 15% higher than in October 2021.

UK Finance said 51.2% of outstanding credit card balances incurred interest, compared with 53.7% 12 months earlier.

There were also 2.2 billion debit card transactions in October, 12.4% more than in October 2021. The total debit card spend of £66.6 billion was 9.1% higher than in October 2021.

UK Finance cautioned that annual data comparisons are impacted upon by the reduction of spending due to various lockdown restrictions and the economy re-opening, resulting in large percentage variations when compared with 2021.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the figures could be a sign of early Christmas cheer as people started shopping, “or, more depressingly, show just how much the price of our day-to-day items have risen”.

She added: “Credit card spending is 15% higher than the previous October and, more ominously, outstanding balances have grown by more than 10%.

“If balances aren’t cleared in full every month, there’s the worry they accumulate and become an increasing financial burden to people who are already struggling.”

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released on Wednesday showed that the rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation slowed to 10.5% in December, from 10.7%, in a further sign that the cost-of-living crisis may have passed its peak.

Food and drink inflation jumped to 16.8% in December, up from 16.4% in November, marking the highest level since September 1977.

Ms Morrissey added: “Prices of essentials like food and energy remain eye-wateringly high, which means there’s little respite to the squeeze in our budgets for the foreseeable future.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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