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Eurozone lending recovery continues at modest pace in March

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A lending recovery in the eurozone continued at a modest pace last month, data from the European Central Bank showed on Wednesday, in line with analyst expectations and with the ECB's own subdued outlook for the currency bloc.

[FRANKFURT] A lending recovery in the eurozone continued at a modest pace last month, data from the European Central Bank showed on Wednesday, in line with analyst expectations and with the ECB's own subdued outlook for the currency bloc.

Lending to companies grew by 1.1 per cent year-on-year, just 10 basis points faster than in the previous month and extending a modest and uneven recovery that started in 2014.

Household lending growth was 1.6 per cent, steady on the previous month.

The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money circulating in the eurozone, which is often an indicator of future economic activity, rose to 5.0 per cent from 4.9 per cent, in line with expectations.

Growth in M3, which includes items such as deposits with a longer maturity, holdings in money market funds and some debt securities, peaked at 5.4 per cent in April 2015 and has been more or less flat-lining since.

The ECB cut its interest rates and expanded its asset-purchase programme last month in a bid to boost lending and, with it, inflation and economic growth in the eurozone.

REUTERS