Bank lending picked up again in November from the same period a year earlier with increased consumer loans offsetting a fall in business borrowing.
Total bank loans rose to $610.6 billion, up 1.1 per cent from November last year, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday.
Last month's pick-up in lending marks two months of positive loan growth after bank loans rose year on year in October - the first increase in 12 months.
But a lot of this has to do with the low base effect from slower lending last year, said CIMB Private Bank economist Song Seng Wun.
"Overall, the underlying sentiment remains cautious. Loan growth next year will very much depend on whether the job market picks up."
CAUTIOUS SENTIMENT REMAINS
Overall, the underlying sentiment remains cautious. Loan growth next year will very much depend on whether the job market picks up.
CIMB PRIVATE BANK ECONOMIST SONG SENG WUN
Business loans continued to dip amid the uncertain economic environment, though not as drastically as in October.
Total loans to companies last month fell 0.2 per cent from a year earlier to $361 billion - a better result than the year on year of 0.5 per cent in October.
The sharpest drop was once again in the general commerce sector, where loans plunged 9.1 per cent year on year to $63.4 billion.
Loans to manufacturers slid 6.2 per cent to $25.3 billion.
But this was partially offset by a rise in lending to financial institutions, which surged 14.1 per cent from a year earlier to $79.5 billion.
Loans to business services firms as well as transport, storage and communications companies also rose.
Meanwhile, consumer loan growth was steady, with total lending up 3 per cent from November last year to $249.6 billion. Consumer loan growth in October came in at 3.3 per cent year on year.
Housing and bridging loans climbed 3.7 per cent last month from a year earlier to $191.2 billion.
Credit card lending increased 4.9 per cent to $10.7 billion, while share financing registered the greatest increase, up 155.6 per cent to $2.4 billion. Car loans dipped 0.4 per cent to $7.8 billion.