Mortgage approvals have returned to pre-pandemic levels and consumer borrowing has picked up.

According to the Bank of England, mortgage approvals rose to 66,300 in July from just under 39,900 in June. The figure was better than forecasts for 55,000 and was more than seven times higher than the trough of 9,300 in May.

Approvals are now only 10% below February’s high of 73,700 and are in line with the average before Covid-19 struck.

Mortgage approvals hit a record high of £16.7bn in July, a 64% increase month-on-month and 7.3% higher than last year