Oil prices today rose above $78 a barrel following strong Chinese growth data that counterbalanced the World Bank’s bleak outlook for the global economy.

For the new March delivery front-month contract, US crude increased by 30¢ to $78.04 a barrel at 6:17am GMT, while London Brent crude increased by 11¢ to $76.43 a barrel, according to Reuters.

According to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s annual gross domestic product growth increased in the fourth quarter to 10.7% from a revised 9.1% in the third quarter.

In December 2009, the amount of crude processed in China increased by 24.8% to 8.15 million bpd compared with a year earlier.

The World Bank’s annual Global Economic Prospects report for 2010 gave a bleak outlook for the world economy as it predicted a fall in growth with governments withdrawing some liquidity injected into the market.