There has been little change in credit growth, which remained weak in November. The annual rate of decline in loans to the private sector (adjusted for loan sales and securitisation) remained at -0.5 percent in November. This development reflects further net redemptions in loans to non-financial corporations. Net redemptions, however, were less pronounced than in previous months, amounting to €4 billion in November, after €7 billion in October and €21 billion in September. The annual rate of decline in loans to non-financial corporations was -1.4 percent in November, after -1.5 percent in October. The annual growth in MFI lending to households also remained broadly unchanged at 0.7 percent in November. To a large extent, subdued loan dynamics reflect the current stage of the business cycle, heightened credit risk and the ongoing adjustment in the balance sheets of households and enterprises.
In order to ensure adequate transmission of monetary policy to the financing conditions in euro area countries, it is essential to continue strengthening the resilience of banks where needed. The soundness of banks’ balance sheets will be a key factor in facilitating both an appropriate provision of credit to the economy and the normalisation of all funding channels. Decisive steps for establishing an integrated financial framework will help to accomplish this objective. The future single supervisory mechanism (SSM) is one of the main building blocks. It is a crucial move towards re-integrating the banking system.
To sum up, the economic analysis indicates that price developments should remain in line with price stability over the medium term. A cross-check with the signals from the monetary analysis confirms this picture.
Other economic policy areas will need to make further contributions to ensure a firm stabilisation of financial markets and an improvement in the outlook for growth. Further structural reforms should be rapidly implemented to make the euro area a more flexible, dynamic and competitive economy. In particular, product market reforms to increase competition and competitiveness are essential, accompanied by measures to improve the functioning of labour markets. Such reforms will boost the euro area’s growth potential and employment and improve the adjustment capacities of the euro area countries. They will also add further momentum to the progress being made with regard to unit labour costs and current account imbalances. As regards fiscal policies, the recent significant decline in sovereign bond yields should be bolstered by further progress in fiscal consolidation in line with the commitments under the Stability and Growth Pact.
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