SINGAPORE – Bank loans edged up 0.6 per cent to $684.88 billion in August from the previous month, reversing a dip in July, as higher business loans offset the continued contraction in housing loans, according to preliminary figures from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday (Sept 30).

Business loans grew 1.1 per cent to $422.73 billion from July, while consumer loans shrank 0.2 per cent to $262.15 billion.

Housing loans, which account for three-quarters of consumer lending, dropped 0.2 per cent to $201.37 billion last month, compared with July, marking the eighth straight month of contraction. They declined by 1.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Weaknesses in the manufacturing sector as the United States and China trade war wage on also showed in the latest lending figures.

Loans to the manufacturing sector contracted 0.2 per cent to $27.92 billion compared with July, while loans to all other business sectors such as agriculture, construction and transport grew in August.

Loans to the manufacturing sector, however, grew by 4.5 per cent compared with August last year.

From a year ago, total lending rose 2.2 per cent as business loans climbed 4.4 per cent while consumer loans dipped 0.01 per cent.