SHANGHAI ( TheStreet) -- China's gross domestic product rose 11.9% in the first quarter, while inflation remained low at 2.2%.

The pace of growth was the fastest in almost three years.

Stocks in China fell 0.4% Thursday after the data was released but other Asian markets such as Tokyo and Hong Kong ended the trading day slightly higher.

The data could give Beijing room to allow the yuan to rise, but analysts warned it faces growing pressure to cut back stimulus and keep the world's third-largest economy from overheating.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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