China Boasts Its Economy 'Achieving Recovery' After Stunning Growth Data

China's government says it has become the first country to "achieve recovery" from the global slump as economic growth accelerated to 10.7 percent in the final quarter of 2009, adding to pressure on Beijing to cool inflation pressures while keeping the country's recovery on track.

The quarterly growth announced Thursday exceeded most forecasts and brought 2009's full-year expansion to 8.7 percent. The government had forecast 8.3 percent growth for the year.

China has rebounded strongly from the global downturn but the government worries that heavy stimulus spending and bank lending might fuel inflation. Regulators have ordered banks to control lending and analysts expect them to raise interest rates this year.

"At present, the base of the world economic recovery is relatively weak. There are uncertainties in domestic economic development," Ma Jiantang, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a news conference. "We should ... maintain consistency and stability of macroeconomic policy."

Consumer prices fell through much of the year but the decline turned around in November and prices rose by 1.9 percent in December from a year earlier, Ma said.

China has led the recovery from the global financial and economic crisis, due partly to its 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) of stimulus spending.