Consumer and business lending is growing at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis as record low interest rates trigger a recovery in personal loans.
Personal financing improved for two consecutive months for the first time in almost a year, official data shows.
“We have just had the first level of back-to-back gains in personal lending since January and February last year,” Commsec economist Savanth Sebastian told AAP.
“It’s still early days but encouraging to see a lift in consumer borrowing.”
Personal loan levels rose by 0.6 per cent in November to $7.925 billion, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Total lending finance – which includes personal loans, home mortgages, business lending and lease financing – grew by 23.1 per cent in the year to November, marking the fastest annual pace since January 2008, during the early days of the GFC.
In August, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates to a record low of 2.5 per cent.
Mr Sebastian said the pick-up in borrowing levels would make another rate cut less likely during this cycle.
“The RBA will be done with rate cuts,” he said.
But central bank policymakers would still focus on the sluggish labour market, he added.
In the year to November, business lending posted the strongest growth of 30.2 per cent, compared with 18.8 per cent for home mortgages while personal loans rose by a more modest 7.3 per cent.
Lease financing fell 3.2 per cent over the same period.