April 29, 2015 / 8:07 AM / 5 years ago

Euro zone lending up in March; first rise in 3 years

FRANKFURT, April 29 (Reuters) - Lending to euro zone households and firms rose in March, showing a modest improvement after three years of decline, European Central Bank data showed on Wednesday.

Loans to the private sector rose by 0.1 percent on the year after a drop of 0.1 percent in February, the ECB said. A Reuters poll had pointed to lending staying flat at 0.0 percent. The last rise was in March 2012.

Sparse lending to companies has dogged the struggling euro zone economy although the picture has been improving and policy setters including European Central Bank President Mario Draghi believe that the bloc is turning the corner. (Writing by John Stonestreet; editing by John O’Donnell)

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