The euro area money supply grew at a slower pace in March and the growth in lending to the private sector eased, data from the European Central Bank showed on Thursday.
The annual rate in broad M3 money supply slowed to 10.1 percent in March from 12.2 percent in February. The rate was forecast to ease to 10.2 percent.
At the same time, the narrow measure M1 growth eased to 13.6 percent from 16.4 percent in February.
The slowdown was largely due to the base effects and it should remain strong over the rest of this year at least, Jack Allen-Reynolds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
As regards the dynamics of credit, data showed that credit to the private sector advanced 4.6 percent year-on-year in March, slower than the 5.0 percent rise in February.
But with the economy operating some way below its potential, this is unlikely to pose much of a risk to inflation.
Loans to the private sector advanced 3.6 percent annually, but weaker than the 4.5 percent rise a month ago.
Adjusted loans to households increased to 3.3 percent from 3.0 percent in February, while the annual growth rate of adjusted loans to non-financial corporations decreased to 5.3 percent from 7.0 percent.