• Lending growth to non-financial corporations accelerated to 6.6% in April, its fastest rate in over 11 years, from 5.5% a month earlier, the data showed.
  • Household lending growth slowed to 3.0% from 3.4%.

FRANKFURT: Euro zone companies tapped banks for some vital credit last month as economic activity stopped, forcing them to look for emergency cash to survive, European Central Bank showed

Lending growth to non-financial corporations accelerated to 6.6% in April, its fastest rate in over 11 years, from 5.5% a month earlier, the data showed.

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.

This stood in contrast with the financial crisis of 2008 and the 2011 euro zone debt crisis, when a downturn in economic activity was caused or at least accompanied by a credit crunch, as this chart showed.

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.

Household lending growth slowed to 3.0% from 3.4%.