Households, businesses stay cool on credit

Greece’s credit growth continued to slow in September, decelerating to an annual pace of 5.4 percent from 6 percent in August, as both households and businesses took out fewer loans, according to Bank of Greece data. In December, credit growth stood at 15.9 percent. A fast rate of credit expansion had helped to support Greece’s robustly growing economy for a number of years leading up to the crisis while also helping to feed bank profit growth. Loan growth to households in September slowed to 3.9 percent from 4.7 percent in August. The amount of new home loans signed last month hit 403 million euros, the highest for the year, according to the central bank.