In July, growth in euro zone M3 money supply picked up slightly in July after plunging the month before. Euro zone M3 money supply rose from a downwardly revised 1.9% Y/Y (earlier reported as 2.1% Y/Y) to 2.0% Y/Y, while the consensus was looking for an increase to 2.2% Y/Y. The three-month moving average of M3 growth rose from 2.0% to 2.1%, still well below the ECB’s reference of 4.5% Y/Y, suggesting that medium term inflationary pressures remain muted.
Turning to the lending data, loans to the private sector slowed from 2.5% Y/Y to 2.4% Y/Y, while the monthly flow was
slightly positive (€11 billion). Loans to non-financials, on the contrary, rose from 1.5% Y/Y to 1.6% Y/Y, but dropped by €3 billion in the month. Growth in loans to households slowed from 3.2% Y/Y to 3.0% Y/Y and loans for house purchases, which is often seen as a leading indicator, eased from 4.3% Y/Y to 3.9% Y/Y. Since early last year, signs had appeared that lending was recovering, first in to households and afterwards also to non-financials as the economic recovery was gaining strength. Recently however, signs are increasing that lending is slowing again, suggesting that both households and companies are reluctant to invest, while banks are probably tightening their lending conditions as the economy is sputtering again.