January 3, 2014
Another month, another grim data point on bank lending in the euro zone. The latest numbers, covering November (pdf), show that loans to companies in the euro zone are falling at a 3.9% annual pace, the fastest rate of decline in more than a decade. Loans to households are holding up better, but growth is still only barely positive.
As far as business lending goes, only Finland, Estonia and Belgium managed to eke out growth in November. In Spain, meanwhile, bank loans for businesses are falling by nearly 20% per year.
The lack of bank credit is pushing some companies to seek funds from new sources—witness the small Italian companies recently issuing “minibonds” directly to investors.
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