China says state revenue continued to grow at a fast pace in the first quarter, although state-owned firms still failed to pay tax on time. According to Xinhua (the New China News Agency), state revenue and expenditure were balanced in the first quarter. It said state revenue increased 27.6 per cent from the first quarter of last year, and expenditure rose 14.5 per cent. Taxes due from state-owned enterprises were 12.4 billion yuan (about HK$13.48 billion) at the end of last month, 55.1 per cent higher than in March last year. The report, quoting a Finance Ministry spokesman, said the state firms were unable to pay taxes because of losses and poor profits.