Spending on credit cards fell again in August, according to the British Bankers Association (BBA).
Consumers are more cautious about borrowing on plastic
Borrowing fell by £146m as card holders paid off more of their debts in August, triggering the second monthly fall in spending on credit cards this year.
The BBA said the fall reflected very weak retail sales and consumers being cautious about their spending.
A recent banking industry report highlighted the long term decline in the popularity of credit cards.
When credit card borrowing fell by £40m in April it was the first monthly drop since 1994.
"For the year as a whole the increase in borrowing on credit cards is markedly lower than in the whole of last year," David Dooks of the BBA said.
In the first eight months of 2005 borrowing on credit cards has grown by just £0.8bn, compared with £3.8bn during the same period last year.
Mortgage lending steady
Separate figures from the BBA on mortgage lending suggest the housing market will remain steady in the coming months.
The group said net mortgage lending in August grew by £4.3bn, in line with the average seen over the previous six months.
Further figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that the number of new home loans given out by its members rose to 101,000 in August.
Although this was fewer than the 110,000 loans made in August 2004, it still represents a peak for the year so far.
"The doom mongers' prophecies look to have been wrong, as lending has continued to strengthen over the summer," CML Director General Michael Coogan commented.
"Although the market remains far from spectacular in terms of transaction numbers and house prices, the prospects of a significant market correction are receding."
Fixed rate mortgages continue to be very popular with borrowers.
In August they accounted for 54% of all home loans - the highest proportion since monthly records started in 1998.