June 18, 2019 / 1:04 PM / 3 months ago

Italian bank lending up 1% in May but corporate demand remains weak

MILAN, June 18 (Reuters) - Italian banks’ lending to households and businesses increased in May while the average rates charged on new loans were broadly unchanged, banking lobby ABI said on Tuesday.

ABI data showed loans to the private sector were up 1% year-on-year in May compared with an annual increase of 0.9% in April. The average interest rate charged on new corporate loans stood at 1.46% in May unchanged from the previous month.

A breakdown of data for April showed home mortgages grew by 2.5% year-on-year that month while corporate loans decreased by 0.6%, a drop which ABI Deputy Director General Gianfranco Torriero put down to weak investment demand from companies.

Speaking in a conference call, Torriero said the falling trend in corporate loans seen this year, which reflected economic stagnation in the country, was probably set to continue in May. (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, editing by Valentina Za)

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