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Euro zone lending growth slows again in April

Bank lending to euro zone companies and households slowed again in April, continuing the steady decline since last autumn as the economy stagnated and rapid rate hikes dented demand for credit.

This is according to the latest European Central Bank data today.

Lending to businesses in the 20 nation currency bloc expanded by 4.6% year over year in April after a 5.2% rise a month earlier while household credit growth slowed to 2.5% from 2.9%.

Lending has slowed sharply in recent months on an economic downturn and the fastest rate hikes by the ECB on record, with surveys pointing to even weaker lending figures in the months ahead.

Growth in the M3 measure of money circulating in the euro zone, meanwhile, slowed to 1.9% from 2.5%, coming below expectations for 2.1% in a Reuters survey.

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