ECB Under Pressure To Act As Lending Continues Contraction

Lending to households and firms in the euro zone fell again in January and money supply growth remained subdued, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to take action next week to support the economy.

The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low, pumped extra liquidity into the banking system and announced a fresh government bond purchase program, but the measures have so far not managed to unclog lending to the real economy.

Euro zone inflation is also running at only 0.8 percent – far below the ECB’s target of just under 2 percent.

Loans to the private sector fell by 2.2 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, ECB data released on Thursday showed. That compared to a contraction of 2.3 percent in December.

Euro zone M3 money supply – a more general measure of cash in the economy – grew at an annual pace of 1.2 percent, picking up slightly from 1.0 percent in December.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza