January bank loans grew at slower 1.4% pace to $582.2 billion

BANK loans growth continued to slow in January, as the pace of lending to businesses dipped.

Preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released on Friday showed that January's bank lending came in at $582.2 billion, a 1.4 per cent rise from December.

That is a shade below December's 1.5 per cent increase from November, continuing a moderate pace of loans growth.

Lending in November had accelerated 2.1 per cent from October.

Loans to businesses were at $356.4 billion, up by 2.1 per cent in January from the previous month.

That slowed from December's 2.3 per cent growth from November.

Lending to all but one sector - the agriculture, mining and quarrying industry - went up last month.

Total consumer loans in January rose 0.4 per cent compared with the previous month to $225.8 billion.

Housing and bridging loans, which make up the largest type of loans disbursed by banks, added 0.5 per cent to $167.3 billion.

Car loans, which are still impacted by the double whammy of tighter financing requirements and higher prices for the certificates of entitlement, saw a decline for the 18th straight month.

Such loans stood at $10.5 billion, a decline of 1.8 per cent from the previous month.

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