Business lending drives August credit growth in eurozone

AFP, Frankfurt :
A pickup in lending to businesses drove faster eurozone credit growth in August, European Central Bank data showed Thursday, weeks after a controversial decision for more stimulus.
The pace of growth in lending to non-financial firms added 0.3 percentage points to reach 4.3 percent last month, the figures showed.
Meanwhile lending to households increased at a steady clip of 3.4 percent, the same as in July.
Across the private sector, the pace of growth in credit inched up 0.1 points, to 3.8 percent.
The European Central Bank has for years looked to stoke lending to the real economy with historically low interest rates and mass bond-buying, hoping easier money would lead to more activity and, in turn, inflation closer to its goal of just below two percent.
Policymakers agreed on September 12 to lower the key deposit rate of interest to -0.5 percent, increasing the effective charge banks must pay to park cash with the central bank.
But the governing council was sharply divided by its decision to restart mass purchases of government and corporate bonds, which the ECB had ended in December 2018 after amassing a 2.6-trillion-euro ($2.8 trillion) debt pile.
German board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger stepped down late Wednesday, with a central banking source telling AFP the September move had prompted her resignation.