Retail stores will not remove Israeli imported products from their shelves, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) said. File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Consumers should use credit responsibly and live within their means, the National Credit Regulator said on Wednesday.

Credit bureau statistics for the quarter ended March, showed a seasonal decline in the value of new credit extended to consumers, NCR CEO Nomsa Motshegare said in a statement.

Credit bureaux had over 21.71 million credit-active consumers on their books, up 5.2 percent from the previous quarter.

The total value of new credit granted to consumers decreased by R13.06 billion, from R118.66bn for the quarter ended December 2013, to R105.60 bn, while the number of applications received for credit also decreased from 10.75 million in December 2013 to 9.67 million in March 2014.

The report showed an overall quarter-on-quarter decline for all credit types with the exception of developmental credit, Motshegare said.

These included the value of new mortgages granted, which decreased from R34.72bn to R30.84bn and credit facilities with a decrease from R18.70bn to R16.22bn.

Decreases were also reflected in secured credit, from R40.58bn to R35.35 bn, unsecured credit which decreased from R21.61bn to R18.82bn, as well as short-term credit which decreased from R1.38bn to R1.23bn.

Developmental credit was the only credit category that showed a quarter-on-quarter increase of 87.5 percent, from R1.68bn to R 3.14bn.

“As at March 2014, the total outstanding consumer credit balances... was R1.55 trillion, representing a quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.04 percent and a year-on-year growth of 6.87 percent,” said Motshegare.