FRANKFURT, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Euro zone money supply growth picked up slightly in January, while loans to the private sector contracted at a similar pace to a month earlier, the European Central Bank said on Thursday. The ECB gave the following percentage changes in growth, seasonally adjusted: JAN DEC Prior M3 annual growth rate 1.2 1.0 (1.0) M3 3-month moving avg 12-mo growth 1.2 1.3 (1.3) Annual total credit growth -1.7 -2.0 (-2.0) Annual credit growth private sector -2.2 -2.4 (-2.4) -- of which loans -2.2 -2.3 (-2.3) -- of which loans (adj. for sales and securitisation) -2.0 -2.0 (-2.1) Breakdown of Loans, pct annual growth rate: Loans to households -0.2 -0.1 (-0.1) -- consumer credit -3.0 -3.1 (-3.0) -- for home purchases 0.5 0.7 (0.7) Loans to non-financial corporations -2.9 -3.0 (-3.0) Loans to NFCs adj. for sales and securitisation -2.9 -2.9 (-2.9) Monthly loan flow to firms (bln euros) -6 0 (-2) For a copy of the report, please click here NOTES: The data are adjusted to exclude holdings of money market fund shares or units by residents outside the euro area and non-resident holdings of money market paper and debt securities with an initial maturity of up to two years. Previously reported data from the prior month are in brackets. The ECB has set a reference rate of 4.5 percent for the three-month moving average of annual money supply growth, above which the bank sees dangers to medium-term price stability.