FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Growth in bank loans to euro zone households set a fresh post-crisis record in March, while lending to companies and the supply of money also rose more than expected, fresh data from the European Central Bank showed on Friday.
Lending to households in the 19-member currency bloc grew by 2.4 percent in March, up from 2.3 percent a month earlier, its best rate since 2009.
While this pace of growth was less than half pre-crisis standards, it still suggested that the ECB’s cheap cash was slowly making its way to the household sector.
Corporate lending growth meanwhile grew by 2.3 percent in March, accelerating from 1.9 percent a month earlier and beating market expectations.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money circulating in the euro zone, which has in the past often predicted economic activity, accelerated to 5.3 percent last month from 4.7 percent in February and higher than expectations for 4.7 percent in a Reuters poll.
Reporting by Francesco Canepa and Balazs Koranyi