MILAN, June 18 (Reuters) - Bad debts at Italian banks showed no sign of a let-up in April rising to 133 billion euros ($177.52 billion), data showed on Tuesday, as Italy's longest post-war recession continues to take its toll.
ABI, the Italian banking association, said in a statement gross non-performing loans in April grew by around 2.3 billion euros from March and by 22 percent from a year earlier.
Net bad loans were 3.5 percent of total loans in April, ABI said, compared to 3.4 percent in March and 2.6 percent a year earlier.
Loans to households and non-financial businesses fell 3.1 percent in May, the same rate of decline as in April, ABI said.
On a brighter note, retail funding continued to increase with deposits by Italian residents rising an annual 7.3 percent in May. ($1 = 0.7492 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)