Euro zone business lending picked up

Lending to euro zone companies accelerated for the third straight month. European Central Bank data showed that reversing in part a steady decline in the early part of the year. Lending to euro zone businesses expanded by 2.9% last month. A pick-up from 2.5% in October.

But well below the 7% recorded a year earlier. Household lending growth rose to 4.2% from 4.1%, holding broadly steady over the past six months. The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply. This is mostly a reflection of the ECB’s copious bond purchases. And that dropped to 7.3% from 7.7%, which is below market expectations for 7.6% growth.

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