FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Lending to euro zone companies slowed sharply while a broader indicator of money circulating also fell in December, the ECB said on Friday, suggesting that credit to the private sector is still in the doldrums despite rock bottom interest rates.
Lending growth to corporations slowed to 0.3 percent from 0.7 percent a month earlier while household lending growth was flat at 1.4 percent, even as the European Central Bank buys 60 billion euros worth of assets per month, partly to drive down rates and induce bank lending.
The annual growth rate of the M3 measure of money circulating in the euro zone, which is often an indicator of future economic activity, meanwhile slowed to 4.7 percent from 5.0 percent, coming well short of expectations for 5.2 percent.
Growth in M3, which includes items such as deposits with a longer maturity, holdings in money market funds and some debt securities, peaked at 5.4 percent in April and has been on a downward trend since. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by John O‘Donnell)