Growth in euro zone corporate lending slowed in December, slipped from its post-crisis high, while a broader indicator of money circulating in the currency bloc dipped against expectations, data showed.
The corporate lending expanded by 2.9 per cent in December, slowing from 3.1 per cent a month ago, while household lending growth was steady at 2.8 per cent, the European Central Bank said on Friday.
Buying over 2 trillion euros worth of debt in the past three years, the ECB has laboured away to depress borrowing costs and kick start lending, all in the hope of rekindling inflation, reports Reuters.
While its efforts have paid off and lending growth is trending around its best level since the global financial crisis, it remains well below its pre-crisis mark as many banks, under pressure to repair their balance sheets, are still reluctant to lend to the real economy.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply, seen by some as a precursor of economic activity, eased to 4.6 per cent from 4.9 a month earlier, falling short of expectations for 4.9 per cent.