[FRANKFURT] Lending growth to eurozone households and firms increased in May, European Central Bank data showed on Friday, after staying flat the previous month.
Loans to the private sector in May were up 0.5 per cent on the year, a stronger result than the 0.4 per cent predicted in a Reuters poll.
Sparse lending to companies has dogged the struggling eurozone economy although the picture had been improving and policy setters including ECB President Mario Draghi believe that the bloc is recovering. The latest lending figure will bolster that belief.
The M3 measure of money circulating throughout the 19 countries in the eurozone grew at the slower pace of 5.0 per cent in May, the ECB said. This was lower than the 5.3 per cent growth rate in April.