Euro zone corporate lending growth plunges in September

Euro zone corporate lending growth plunges in September
An employee holds 2 cent euro coins at the "Monnaie de Paris", national mint factory in Pessac, France, November 29, 2017. Picture taken November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau -
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bank lending to euro zone companies plunged last month, suggesting that the bloc’s economic slowdown is finally slowing lending after a period of surprising resilience, data from the European Central Bank showed on Monday.

Hoping to arrest a lengthy economic slump, the ECB approved a fresh stimulus scheme last month, partly aimed at banks so they would continue to provide credit to the real economy even as a long-expected recovery fails to materialize.

Corporate loan growth slowed to 3.7% in September from 4.3% a month earlier, its slowest rate since January. Household lending growth meanwhile held steady at 3.4%.

The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply, which often serves as an indicator of future activity, slowed to 5.5% in September from 5.8% in August, underperforming expectations for 5.7%.

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(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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