Beijing — Chinese banks made fewer new loans in August than expected, highlighting problems facing the central bank as it tries to boost credit to smaller companies facing weaker demand at home and shrinking export orders. With US trade duties threatening to ratchet up pressure on China’s already slowing economy, its policymakers have shifted focus in recent months to growth-boosting measures, pushing banks to lend more and bringing down financing costs. Chinese banks extended ¥1.28-trillion ($186.40bn) in net new yuan loans in August, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Wednesday. Analysts had predicted an August tally of ¥1.3-trillion, down from July’s ¥1.45-trillion but nearly 20% more than the same month last year. "Financing demand is relatively weak as firms are unwilling to borrow," said Luo Yunfeng, chief analyst at Merchants Securities in Beijing. Corporate lending down Corporate lending fell from July, while household loans picked up sharply,...

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