SINGAPORE (June 28): Total loans in Singapore came in at $681.8 billion in May, 0.8% higher than the $676.3 billion in April and 2.1% higher than a year ago, supported by higher business loans.

This according to preliminary data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released on Friday

Total business loans rose 1.5% month-on-month to nearly $418 billion, thanks to a 3.2% rise in manufacturing loans to $27.7 billion and a 4% rise in general commerce loans to $68.56 billion.

Total consumer lending declined 0.3% month-on-month to $263.83 billion, on the back of weaker housing loans.

Among consumer loans, only two categories -- credit card loans and share financing to professional and private individuals -- were higher while car loans and other loans to professional and private individuals also retreated in May.

Housing loans retreated for the fifth straight month in May, as cooling measures introduced last July continued to weigh on the property market.

Mortgages and bridging loans booked stood at $202.5 billion, 0.1% and 0.3% lower month-on-month and year-on-year respectively.

MAS’s managing director Ravi Menon said on Thursday the curbs won’t not be lifted in the near future, given that "there seems to be a good balance that is holding up the market in a good place".

See also: MAS maintains monetary policy stance amid tough economic outlook; records $19.2 bil in earnings