FRANKFURT - Lending to euro zone companies continued to surge in April as firms scrambled for emergency liquidity amid the continent's coronavirus-related lockdown, data from the European Central Bank showed on Friday.
With millions of people in lock down and much of the bloc's economy mothballed, activity came to a standstill in March, forcing firms to find emergency cash to survive.
Lending growth to non-financial corporations accelerated to 6.6% in April from 5.5% a month earlier, its best rate in over 11 years. Household lending growth meanwhile slowed to 3.0% from 3.4%.
Although banks initially appeared to tighten access to credit, a raft of government and central bank measures, from public guarantees to easier collateral rules, has supported lending.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money supply accelerated to 8.3% from 7.5%, beating expectations for 7.8% in a Reuters poll.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi Editing by Francesco Canepa) ((Balazs.Koranyi@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1244; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))