BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- China's official economists are raising their economic growth forecasts to predict a rise of at least 10.5 percent in the first quarter. China's GDP growth rate would exceed 11 percent in the first quarter on the back of an export boom, increasing consumption and high investment, said an analyst with the Economic Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). He predicted the economy would grow faster this year than in 2006. Research institutions have adjusted their forecasts with news that exports and consumption rose rapidly in the first two months. The economy was previously expected to grow by nine to 10.2 percent in the first quarter, and at or below 10 percent for the year. The State Information Center under the State Council has raised its forecast for the GDP growth rate from 10.2 percent to around 11 percent in the first quarter. Foreign trade in the first quarter would copy the first two months to maintain rises of at least 30 percent in exports and 20 percent in import, said the analyst with NDRC. Li Huiyong, of Shenyin Wanguo Securities, expected an export growth rate of 40.4 percent and imports to rise by 22 percent in the first quarter. With exports far outpacing imports, analysts predicted the trade surplus would reach 60 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, and total 200 billion dollars for the whole year. But some worried that about 30 percent of the 39.6 billion dollars of the surplus for the first two months might be falsely reported, as goods delivered by industrial enterprises for export increased 23.6 percent in the first two months, much less than the 41.5 percent growth registered in export volume. Analysts predicted the country's investment would grow 22 to 25 percent in the first quarter. Fan Jianping with the State Information Center warned the figure might be higher, as local governments might present lower investment growth rates during the two sessions to demonstrate their efforts in executing the policy to curb investment. China's consumer price index (CPI) would settle at about 2.6 percent in the first quarter, and might reach three percent in the next nine months, analysts said. The country would face mounting pressure from rising prices, non-food prices in particular, boosted by increasing consumption with people earning more, Li said. Li predicted that industrial profits would rise by more than 25 percent this year, if the economy saw double-digit growth. Investment bank Citigroup raised its 2007 forecast for the economy from 9.8 percent to 10.3 percent, and Goldman Sachs raised it to 10.8 percent at the end of March. The government is scheduled to release the official economic statistics for the first quarter in mid-April.