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Extra day in month a boost

By BEN ZIGTERMAN

bzigterman@news-gazette.com

URBANA — The University of Illinois Flash Index rose in February to 105.7, up from 105.4.

Anything above 100 indicates Illinois’ economy is growing.

“The index is at its highest reading in over four years, but this is little comfort given the impending threat of possible coronavirus effects,” UI economist Fred Giertz said.

February’s Flash Index was the highest since November 2015, when it was at 106.1.

The extra day in February 2020 may also have boosted the index, said Giertz, who compiles it.

“The state may also have benefited from the extra February day of Leap Year because the month’s results are compared to recent years with one fewer day,” said Giertz, who added that the impact of that additional day couldn’t be isolated.

The measure calculated by the UI’s Institute of Government & Public Affairs takes into account growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.

Corporate tax receipts fell slightly compared to a year ago, while income tax and sales tax receipts increased.

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