ECB: Loan demand sags in slack eurozone economy

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has more dismal numbers about the slack eurozone economy.

The chief monetary authority for the euro reports a "pronounced net decline" in business demand for credit in the third quarter. Its quarterly bank lending survey shows that companies are not asking for money.

Credit shows signs of shrinking even though banks are themselves finding it easier to raise money as the turmoil from the eurozone debt crisis has eased.

The key figure showed a minus 28 percent balance, reflecting the difference between banks reporting more and less loan demand. The figure worsened from 25 percent in the second quarter.

The eurozone economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter and many fear it could sink into recession when third quarter figures come out Nov. 15.

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