Consumers turning their back on debt

Concerned about employment prospects, many Australians were reluctant to take on new debt in May, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show.

According to the group, total personal finance lending for the month stood at $6.158 billion, down 0.9 per cent on the previous month.

But while lending on items such as credit cards and personal loans was down, low-interest home loans were still proving popular.

Month on month, the value of home loans handed out in May rose three per cent to stand at $17 billion.

Commercial finance also registered a rise, suggesting that lenders may be opening their doors to businesses more readily as the economic storm clouds lighten.

Speaking to the Age about the figures, Nomura International’s chief economist Stephen Roberts said: "There’s plenty of evidence that people are winding back on credit cards."

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