BANK lending in March fell for the fourth straight month compared to a month earlier, though consumer loans grew slightly in the period.
Loans through the domestic banking unit - which essentially captures lending in all currencies but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending - stood at S$601 billion in March, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Thursday. This was a dip of 0.4 per cent from S$604 billion in February, compared with the fall of 0.6 per cent in February.
Business loans were down 0.8 per cent to S$364 billion from a month ago, as lending to most sectors fell. But the exception included loans to construction firms, which make up the single-largest lending segment.
Consumer lending was up 0.2 per cent at S$238 billion, compared to February. A month ago, growth was flat.
From a year ago, bank lending in March was up 2.3 per cent, weaker than the 3.3 per cent year-on-year gain posted in February.