China has declared it is over the global crisis and signaled a shift in focus to controlling inflation.
Economic growth accelerated to 10.7% in the final quarter of 2009, the government said, beating most forecasts and driving the full-year expansion to 8.7%. But inflation also picked up, driven by a jump in food costs.
Ma Jiantong, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, at a news conference, said, "We need to prevent overly fast price increases and closely watch the trend in consumer inflation."
China was one of the healthiest economies heading into the crisis in 2008 and was widely expected to be the first to emerge. Its banks were unhurt by mortgage-related turmoil that battered Western lenders and government debt was low compared with other major economies.
KMPH reported that Ma said China is still poor on an income per person basis. Average income for city dwellers in 2009 was $2,700, while in the populous countryside it was just $752.
He said, "Despite the increase in our GDP and economic strength, we still have to recognize that China is a developing country. We have to be keenly aware of that."