The mainland has posted a budget surplus of 27.6 billion yuan (about HK$25.68 billion) for the first quarter of this year, according to Xinhua news agency. Expenditure in the three months rose 12.3 per cent from the year-ago period, while revenue grew 8.7 per cent, Xinhua said. Central government spending in the period increased 16.9 per cent year-on-year while that of local governments grew 10.2 per cent, the agency said. Central government revenue advanced 5.3 per cent in the period and local revenue was up 12.2 per cent, it said. Xinhua said revenue growth was slower than years past because a slowdown in industrial output growth and falling inflation had reduced income from consumption and value-added taxes.