The seasonally adjusted value of total personal finance commitments for February 2013 rose 2.8%, according to new figures.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates revolving credit commitments increased by 5.2%, seasonally adjusted for the month, fixed lending commitments rose 1.1% and the value of owner occupied housing commitments also increased 1.2%.
Commercial finance commitments jumped 1% in February, after falling 9.8% in January this year. Commercial fixed lending commitments also rose by 3.7%, following a decline of 5.2%.
New car sales fall in March
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New car sales for last month have decreased marginally on those in February, according to figures released this morning.
ABS statistics indicated seasonally adjusted new car sales fell 0.6% in March to an estimated 95,113.
Seasonally adjusted estimates showed more people were buying passenger vehicles, with sales increasing 3.3%.
Sales of sports utility vehicles decreased by 0.5%, although in trend terms these vehicles showed a rise of 1.1%.
Seasonal estimates show four of the eight states and territories had an increase in new motor vehicle sales compared to February, with sales rising 7.7% in Tasmania. Victoria and Western Australia recorded the highest drops, with sales in these states dropping by 3.1% and 2.2% respectively.
Gold price tumbles
The value of gold has recorded its biggest two-day drop in 30 years, with the price of the precious mineral falling more than 9%.
Spot gold decreased 9.1% in value last night at $US1344.39. Since Thursday last week, gold prices have dropped more than $US200 an ounce.
A bad sign for gold miners, early signs show the gold sell-off is continuing today. Shares in Evolution Mining have dropped a significant 18.93% and fallen to $0.985. Shares in Newcrest mining have fallen 6.81% this morning to $16.70 and had been as low as $16.30.
Shares fall on open
Australian shares have dropped on open, following substantial losses from gold mining companies, news of China’s economic slowdown and the bomb blasts in Boston.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 33.1 points to 4934.8, just after midday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.79% last night, closing 265.86 points lower at 14599.20.