China's economy expanded 9.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, slowing from 9.5 percent growth in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first quarter, the government said Tuesday. The latest Gross domestic product (GDP) figure was the slowest pace since an 8.9 percent expansion in the third quarter of 2009, apparently thanks to the government efforts to prevent economic overheating. GDP for the first nine months grew 9.4 percent from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its Website. China, which overtook Japan, last year as the second-biggest economy after the US, is targeting GDP growth of 8 percent for this year."China's economic performance was generally good and had developed according to macro-economic regulation in the January-September period," NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun told a press conference in Beijing, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. "Despite the challenges and uncertainties both at home and abroad, there was great chance that China's economy would maintain it's stable and relatively fast growth in the coming period," Sheng was quoted as saying. "There was an obvious trend that the country's economic development was shifting from a stimulus policy-driven growth to a self-initiated mode," the spokesman added.Sheng said China's consumer price increase had been "preliminarily contained" as growth of the consumer price index (CPI) has been declining for two consecutive months.Beijing vowed to keep the annual growth of CPI at around 4 percent this year and implemented a prudent monetary policy.