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Eurozone corporate lending growth inches up

[FRANKFURT] Growth in eurozone corporate lending picked up last month, the European Central Bank said on Thursday, just hours before announcing whether it would curb monetary stimulus from next year.

Lending growth to businesses, a key plank in eurozone's recovery, rose to 2.5 per cent in September from 2.4 per cent in August while household lending was steady at 2.7, the ECB said.

Although lending was its best level since global financial crisis, it remained well below its pre-crisis mark as banks, under pressure to repair their balance sheets, remained reluctant to lend the real economy.

The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply, seen by some as a precursor of economic activity, rose to 5.1 per cent last month from five percent, beating expectations for five per cent.

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The ECB is expected to announce on Thursday that it will cut asset purchases from next year, taking the biggest step yet in weaning the eurozone off stimulus.

REUTERS