Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.
About a year ago, the European Central Bank singled out a recovery in bank loans to private businesses as crucial to a lasting economic recovery – and even more crucially for the ECB, a rise in inflation which it targets at 2 percent.
from Rahul Karunakar:
Almost a year after the European Central Bank announced new cash loans tied to actual lending to small and medium enterprises, data on Friday is expected to show euro zone private loans are picking up pace.
The recent green shoots emerging out of the euro zone economy could look a little more leafy on Thursday when data is likely to show a long-awaited recovery in private bank lending is starting to pick up pace.
EU foreign ministers hold an extraordinary meeting today after their leaders have asked them to consider possible new sanctions on Russia. A final decision to impose them is likely to be left to their bosses who meet in next month and again in March.
More cheap loans to banks was the European Central Bank’s answer to boost bank lending to private businesses in the euro zone. But the latest data show credit growth is still contracting and the best some economists came up with is that at least it’s not as bad as it was a year ago when it was shrinking faster.
Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.
German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.