FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Growth in lending by banks in the eurozone to the private sector rebounded in February, according to figures released Thursday by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Loans to non-financial corporations and European households rose by 3.2 percent in February after 3.0 percent in January and 3.4 percent in December.

The growth of loans granted to industrial and commercial companies accelerated to 3.7 percent on February 2018’s figure, against 3.4 percent year-on-year in January.

The growth of 3.3 percent for loans to households was up a tenth of a point on January’s figures.
M3, the measure of money supply used by the ECB as a leading indicator of inflation, rose 4.3 percent after 3.8 percent in January.

The ECB will continue to monitor “how banks can maintain healthy income conditions while net interest margins are compressed”, ECB chairman Mario Draghi said in a speech Wednesday.

The monetary institute decided in early March to postpone until 2020 raising interest rates, currently at historic lows, to bring inflation back to a goal close to two percent. – AFP