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December 30, 2016

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Eurozone lending climbs in November

LENDING to households and companies picked up in November in the eurozone, the European Central Bank said yesterday, signaling that its efforts to encourage spending and investment are gaining traction.

Loans to households in the single-currency area grew by 1.9 percent year on year, compared with October’s 1.8 percent. Lending to firms accelerated by 2.2 percent, up from 2.1 percent in.

IHS Markit economist Howard Archer described the figures as “a pleasing set of news for the ECB.”

“The ECB will particularly welcome a pickup in the growth rate in eurozone bank lending to businesses to a more than five-year high in November,” he said.

The ECB has embarked on an unprecedented stimulus program to drive up lending and inflation in the euro area, and the monthly loan growth statistics are seen as a key indicator of the effectiveness of its measures.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said earlier this month that the bank would extend a massive bond-buying scheme to pump cash into the economy.


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