Eurozone 4Q Lending Standards Broadly Stable; Tougher Conditions in Italy
Banks in the eurozone kept their internal approval criteria for loans to businesses and households broadly unchanged in the fourth quarter, the European Central Bank said Tuesday.
“Given the extended period over which credit standards have been easing, bank lending conditions continue to support loan growth,” the ECB said.
But the results mask tougher conditions for Italian businesses and households. In its January bank-lending survey, the ECB said that while conditions for business loans eased in Germany and the Netherlands in the fourth quarter, they tightened in Italy. Banks in Italy also applied tougher standards for housing loans.
Looking ahead, the 147 banks that participated in the ECB survey said they expect “a slight tightening” of credit standards for loans to eurozone businesses in the first quarter of the year.
The eurozone economy is heavily dependent on the availability of funding, and economists monitor bank-lending data to assess trends in corporate investments and the housing market, among other things.
Source: Dow Jones