Households continued to pay down debt in May, according to figures from the Central Bank, with loan repayments exceeding draw downs by €490m during the month.

The total amount of debt outstanding among households stood at €105.2bn during the month, more than €2.4bn lower than in December 2013.

On an annual basis lending to households was 3.7% lower, according to the figures, with loans for household purchases falling by 3%.

Meanwhile, loans to non-financial corporations saw its first net increase since the end of 2012 with a rise of €28m.

This was due to a rise in both medium and short-term loans, but was offset somewhat by a fall in longer term lending.

There was also a €5.5bn fall in the level of private sector deposits, due in large part to the winding down of the Irish Banking Resolutions Corporation.