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Eurozone business lending drops

By Philip Smith

September lending fell across all the main eurozone nations

Concern is growing that the malaise affecting the German industrial sector could be spreading. Corporate lending growth across the 19 EU nations in the eurozone fell last month to 3.7 per cent from 4.3 per cent in August. France, Germany, Italy and Spain all showed drops.

The bloc’s economic slowdown is increasingly persistent and widespread, data from the European Central Bank shows.

The ECB approved a fresh stimulus scheme last month, partly aimed at banks so they would continue to provide credit. The aim was to reverse the growing slump that originated primarily in the German industrial sector.

This latest data suggests that rather than being addressed the slowdown is actually spreading to other countries and other sectors, including the services. This, says the ECB, indicates the eurozone is heading for a long period of weak growth, which will likely translate to an impact on employment levels.

The ECB reports the monthly flow of credit to corporations across the bloc was a negative €8.1bn (£6.3bn, $7.3bn), the biggest monthly drop since January 2015 and the first negative reading since January 2019.

Household lending growth meanwhile held steady at 3.4 per cent, unchanged for the third straight month.

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