ECB Says Bank Loans to Private Sector Shrink Most on Record

By Jeff Black

July 25 (BN) — Lending to companies and households in the 17-member euro area fell the most on record in June in a sign the region is still struggling to shake off its longest-ever recession.

Loans to the private sector dropped 1.6 percent from a year earlier, the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank said today. That’s the 14th monthly decline and the biggest since the start of the single currency in 1999.

The rate of growth in M3 money supply, which the ECB uses as an indicator for future inflation, fell to 2.3 percent in June from 2.9 percent in May, according to today’s data. That’s below all 30 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

M3 grew 2.8 percent in past three months from the same period a year earlier. M3 is the broadest gauge of money supply and includes cash in circulation, some forms of savings and money-market holdings.