Fragile growth in the euro zone may be welcome after a prolonged recession, but any recovery is failing to show up in monetary data, with the banking sector continuing to be a drag.
Data on Wednesday showed the annual growth rate of the euro zone’s money supply — the total amount of money in circulation or existence — fell to 1 percent in December, the lowest level since late 2010.
In addition, loans to the private sector dipped 2.3 percent in December on the year before. This was the worst fall since the data started being tracked in 1991.
Falling loans and slowing growth in money supply are both trends which began in the middle of 2012. Now, the latest weak lending and money supply statistics could push the European Central Bank (ECB) to act at its upcoming policy meeting next week.
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