Bank lending up 6.8% year-on-year in May

ATM machines from UOB, DBS and OCBC Bank, at Changi Airport terminal 2.
ATM machines from UOB, DBS and OCBC Bank, at Changi Airport terminal 2. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Bank lending in May rose for the eighth straight month on the back of a more sanguine economic outlook as both business and consumer loans went up.

Total bank loans rose to S$633.2 billion, up 6.8 per cent compared with S$592.8 billion in May last year, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday (June 30).

Bank lending growth has been picking up in recent months, rising 6.3 per cent year-on-year in March and 7 per cent in April - the fastest pace in more than two years. Bank loans have been rising year-on-year since October 2016.

This comes as Singapore's economic growth outlook seems to be taking a turn for the better.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has said that this year's growth is likely to be above 2 per cent. That sits at the higher end of its 1 to 3 per cent forecast for the full year and surpasses last year's modest 2 per cent.

Lending to businesses expanded for the sixth straight month in May to $380.9 billion, a 9.3 per cent rise from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, consumer loans rose 3.3 per cent year on year in May to reach $252.2 billion, supported mainly by an increase in mortgages and car loans.