Markets across the region dropped Thursday as China released first-quarter growth figures that defied even the highest expectation and Premier Wen Jiabao warned the country needs to curb growth in fixed-asset investment and credit, the South China Morning Post reported. The country's economy surged 11.1% in the first quarter and March inflation rose faster than at any point in the last two years – by 3.3%, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics. Many believe the People's Bank of China will soon raise interest rates to curb growth. According to bureau spokesman Li Xiaochao, China has to continue walking a tightrope because "if this fast growth continues, it is moving from fast growth towards overheating. And there is a risk." On Thursday, the Shanghai Composite Index ended 4.52% down at 3,449 while the Shenzhen Composite dropped 4.92% to 960. They were the biggest drops since February 27. Other Asian markets were dragged down. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Composite Index fell 2.3%, the Nikkei-225 index dropped 1.67%, Singapore's Straits Time Index fell 3.21% and Korea's Kospi 1.36%.