Mortgage approvals and consumer credit lending rose unexpectedly in July, but total net lending was its weakest since March, Bank of England figures showed on Tuesday.

Separate figures showed the Bank's preferred money supply gauge -- M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations -- was unchanged on the month, the weakest reading since January.

The Bank of England said mortgage approvals numbered 48,722 in July, up from an upwardly revised 48,562 in June. Analysts had forecast a reading of 46,500.

Consumer credit rose by 173 million pounds on the month after a fall of 59 million pounds the month before.

Analysts had forecast that there would be no net change in consumer credit lending, while mortgage lending was forecast to rise by 0.7 billion pounds.