FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Growth in bank loans to euro zone households rose to a post-crisis high in May while a key money supply indicator, which often predicts future economic activity, rose slightly, fresh data from the European Central Bank showed on Wednesday.
Lending to households, driven almost entirely by mortgage lending, grew by 2.6 percent in May, picking up from 2.4 percent a month earlier and hitting its highest pace since March 2009.
While this pace of growth was less than half of the pre-crisis level, it still suggested that the ECB's cheap cash was making its way to the real economy, even if slower than the bank had originally hoped.
Corporate lending in the 19-country currency bloc grew by 2.4 percent in May, unchanged from the previous month.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money circulating in the euro zone, which has in the past often predicted economic activity, rose to 5.0 percent last month from 4.9 percent in April and in line with expectations for 5.0. percent in a Reuters poll.
Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa