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Rises in consumer debt and recreational spending

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Consumers’ recreational spending has risen strongly in recent years while net lending to individuals has almost doubled since 2000, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Spending on recreation and culture was 2.8 times greater in 2006, amounting to £98bn a year, while communication expenditure was 3.1 times higher at £17bn.

ONS data also showed that the net value of mortgages and other lending to individuals by banks, building societies and similar lenders in the UK doubled between 2000 and 2003, and remained high at around £29 billion until 2007.

Other figures found that there were 106,700 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in 2007, up from around 35,000 in 2003.

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