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U. of I. economic index
fell in February, but economy still growing
J. Fred Giertz,
Institute of Government and Public Affairs
NEWS DIRECTORS: The Flash Index of Economic Growth, produced by economists
at the University of Illinois, is based on the most up-to-date information
on the Illinois economy.
— The U of I Flash Index fell in February to 106.6 from its 107.1
reading in January.
“Despite the decline, the result for February still indicates
that the Illinois economy is growing at a good clip,” said J.
Fred Giertz, the U. of I. economist who compiles the monthly index.
“Last month’s result was the highest in eight years. While
lower, the current reading remains in strong positive territory.”
A reading of 100 is the dividing line between growth and decline.
Sales-tax receipts were strong for the month, up 13 percent in real
terms compared with the same month last year.
Income-tax receipts were down slightly while corporate-tax receipts
were considerably below February of last year. February, however, is
considered a very light month for corporate receipts; thus, a small
absolute change can have a large percentage impact on the results.
The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate
earnings, consumer spending and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate
income, personal income and retail sales are adjusted for inflation
before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component
is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through Feb. 28.