FRANKFURT – Lending to euro zone companies accelerated for the fourth straight month in December, reversing a mid-year dip, European Central Bank data showed on Friday.
Lending to euro zone businesses expanded by 4.2% last month, after 2.9% in November but the growth rate remained well below the 7.1% recorded a year earlier. Household lending growth meanwhile slowed to 4.1% from 4.2%, holding broadly steady since June.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply, mostly a reflection of the ECB’s copious bond purchases, slowed to 6.9% from 7.4%, just ahead of market expectations for 6.8% growth.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Toby Chopra)