The European Central Bank is facing more signs of a weak economy as it weighs whether to add more stimulus, AP reported.
Official data on Wednesday showed that bank lending to companies fell again in December, by 3 percent. That was an improvement over the previous month's 3.8 percent fall but indicates economic activity is remains subdued.The figures suggest the ECB's stimulus measures, such as low interest rates and generous credit to banks, are still not fully reaching the wider economy. Another key indicator, the growth of the supply of money in the economy, slowed to 1 percent, far below the 4.5 percent guideline.
The ECB says it stands ready to take more action if needed to boost the recovery. That could mean another rate cut or more loans to banks.