Chinese banks will be allowed to increase their lending by 5% this year, a move likely to most benefit small businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new rules coincide with a statement by Chinese leaders that they will focus on sustaining economic growth. China’s economy expanded by 10.4% in the first half of the year, but some industries are not doing well. Rising costs and weaker global demand are hurting coastal exporters and textile manufacturers, and some property markets are seen as weak. Concerns of an overheating economy led the central bank to instruct lenders to issue no more than US$527 billion in new local-currency loans this year – the same level as last year. But officials at state-controlled banks said authorities have now approved a 5% increase.