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Weak loans, money supply data turn up pressure on ECB

File photo shows Yves Mersch from European Central Bank (ECB) board revealing the new 10-euro banknotes at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt on January 13, 2014Slowing money supply growth and declining loans to the private sector will add to pressure on the European Central Bank to ease policy next month, analysts said on Wednesday. In its latest monthly monetary data, the ECB calculated that the euro area money supply grew by a meagre 0.8 percent in April, down from 1.0 percent in March. This could prove a headache for the ECB, which regards its M3 money supply as a barometer for future inflation, since area-wide inflation is currently much lower than the ECB would wish. Meanwhile, some countries under pressure from low growth, high unemployment and voter dissatisfaction as shown by swings to far right and left parties in European elections on Sunday, are hoping that the ECB will ease policy.

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