Eurozone loans slows

FRANKFURT: Growth of loans to the private sector in the euro area slowed in December, European Central Bank (ECB) data showed on Friday. The statistics are a key indicator of economic health for the ECB, as borrowing is a main financing source for corporate investment which in turn should boost the eurozone’s currently weak economy. In December, approved loans rose 0.6 per cent from a year ago, much slower than growth of 1.2 per cent in November, an ECB statement said. When certain strictly financial transactions are stripped out from the loans data, the trend remained the same — with credit accorded to households and companies up just 0.4 per cent in December, compared with 0.9 per cent in November.