September 15, 2015 / 4:31 PM / 4 years ago

Bank lending in Italy shows signs of recovery

MILAN, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Bank lending to Italy’s private sector rose in August for the first time in three years, data showed on Tuesday, in an encouraging sign for a fledgling economic recovery.

Italian banking lobby ABI said loans to the private sector rose 0.25 percent in August, expanding for the first time in 37 months.

Loans to households and non-financial companies continued to contract, falling 0.14 percent from a year earlier. But that was the smallest annual fall since April 2012, ABI said.

Shrinking credit in Italy has been blamed for exacerbating a three-year recession that ended in late 2014.

Corporate lending has fallen by 90 billion euros over the past four years, according to the Bank of Italy.

Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Stephen Jewkes

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