Index shows slow February growth in Illinois economy

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois index that tracks the state’s economic health shows Illinois’ economy grew at a modest pace in February. Tuesday’s release of the University of Illinois Flash Index showed that it rose three-tenths of a point to 105.6 in February. That followed two months of declines. Any reading of more than 100 indicates economic growth. University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz compiles the monthly index. He said the past few months show that Illinois’ economy is on the same slowed-growth track as the national economy. Statewide unemployment rose in February to 6.1 percent. Giertz also noted that that the state-budget stalemate is also starting to hurt the economy. The index is a weighted average of the growth rates of corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.