China’s largest banks may miss their lending targets for the first time in seven years as the economy cools and demand for loans falls, Bloomberg reported, citing three unnamed bank officials. A fall-off in new loans issued during April and May indicate lending for the full year may come in at around RMB7 trillion (US$1.1 trillion), short of the government goal of RMB8-8.5 trillion. Officials with familiar with the situation say that banks are looking to small and medium-sized enterprises to take up the slack in demand from big state-owned enterprises. New lending in April was down 33% from the month before. Some experts argue that May figures may prove worse: Liu Yuhui, a director at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China’s “Big Four” banks had extended just RMB34 billion (US$5.4 billion) in new loans as of May 20.