Lending to businesses in the debt-mired euro zone contracted again in March, according to data published by the European Central Bank.

Private sector loans dropped by 2.2% last month on a year-on-year comparison, the ECB said, after already contracting in January and February.

The Frankfurt-based ECB also published its latest money supply figures, a preliminary indicator of inflation, showing a 1.1% increase in March after rising 1.3% a month earlier.