Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Private sector credit growth accelerated to 5.96% in March from 5.74% in April, taking the total debt to R3.8-trillion, the Reserve Bank reported on Monday morning.

The Reserve Bank’s interest rate cut on March 28 was expected to be too late to stimulate the month’s borrowing figures, and a poll of economists by Trading Economics found the consensus was private sector credit extension would slow slightly from February.

"Although lending rates were lowered by 25 basis points in late March, consumer finances will be adversely affected by factors such as higher taxes and some major fuel price hikes," Absa Home Loans property analyst Jacques du Toit said in a note e-mailed on Monday.

"Growth in household credit balances, including mortgage balances, is forecast to remain in single-digit territory in the rest of the year."

The Reserve Bank reported household debt grew by 3.9% to R1.6-trillion at the end of March from the previous year.

Of this, 76.4% was secured debt on assets such as houses and cars. Unsecured credit grew by 4.5% to R368bn.

Annual money supply growth, as defined by M3, slowed to 6.42% in March from 6.89% in February, taking the total to R3.4-trillion.