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Lending to businesses and property buyers grew only marginally in May while the fall in personal loans accelerated, statistics from the central bank suggest.

The numbers showed overall private sector credit grew 0.2 per cent – meeting market expectations and equalling April’s result – and that mortgage credit growth slowed to 0.2 per cent in May from the previous month’s 0.3 per cent, while credit to business rose 0.1 per cent and personal credit fell 0.6 per cent.

The financial aggregates data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Friday indicated overall credit rose 3.6 per cent over the past year.

Housing credit grew 3.7 per cent in the 12 months to May – the slowest annual growth rate since records started in 1976 – while business credit gained 4.5 per cent and personal credit fell 3.2 per cent.

The figures are the first official data on lending since the federal election was held on May 18.

The drop in personal credit – which measure households’ borrowing for purchases other than real estate – during the month was an acceleration from the 0.3 dip in April.