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FRANKFURT Jan 3 Lending to companies in the
euro zone contracted further in November, piling pressure the
European Central Bank to do more to revive the economy.
The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low, pumped extra
liquidity into the banking system and announced a fresh
government bond purchase programme, but the measures have so far
not managed to unclog lending to the real economy.
Loans to the private sector shrank by 2.3 percent in
November from the same month a year earlier, ECB data released
on Friday showed. That compared to a contraction of 2.2 percent
in October, year-on-year.
A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a contraction of
2.1 percent in November.
Euro zone M3 money supply - a more general measure of cash
in the economy - grew at an annual pace of 1.5 percent, picking
up slightly from 1.4 percent in October and in line with the
consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Eva Taylor; Editing by Jon