FRANKFURT, May 30 (Reuters) - Money supply growth and loans to the private sector slowed more than expected in April, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday.
The ECB gave the following percentage changes in growth, seasonally adjusted:
APRIL MARCH Prior M3 annual growth rate 2.5 3.1 (3.2) M3 3-month moving avg 12-mo growth 2.7 2.7 (2.8) Annual total credit growth 1.4 1.8 (1.8) Annual credit growth private sector 0.0 0.5 (0.5) -- of which loans 0.3 0.6 (0.6) Breakdown of Loans, pct annual growth rate: Loans to households 0.5 0.6 (0.6) -- consumer credit -2.4 -2.1 (-2.0) -- for home purchases 1.0 1.1 (1.1) Loans to non-financial corporations 0.5 0.3 (0.3) Monthly loan flow to firms (bln eur) 10 -7 (-5)
A Reuters poll showed 34 economists on average expected 12-month M3 growth of 3.4 percent, with forecasts ranging from 3.0 percent to 3.7 percent. For private loan growth, economists on average expected 0.6 percent growth, with a forecast range of 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent.
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NOTES: The data are adjusted to exclude holdings of money market fund shares or units by residents outside the euro area and non-resident holdings of money market paper and debt securities with an initial maturity of up to two years.
Previously reported data from the prior month are in brackets.
The ECB has set a reference rate of 4.5 percent for the three-month moving average of annual money supply growth, above which the bank sees dangers to medium-term price stability.
Reporting by Sakari Suoninen