The economic growth continues in Illinois, but so do the problems. “Tax collections are not going to go up very much; in fact, they may go down,” says Fred Giertz, a University of Illinois economics professor who authors the monthly Flash Index. “The (income tax) rate is falling. In this transition month, some of the money is collected under the old 5 percent rate, and some of the money collected in January is under the 3.75 percent rate.” The tax rate receded Jan. 1.
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As for the Flash Index, that monthly average of personal income, consumer spending, and corporate income inched up for January, from 106.5 to 106.8. Anything above 100 indicates growth; the higher the number, the faster the growth.
Giertz says another piece of good news is the decline of the state’s unemployment rate: from 8.9 percent in January 2014 to 6.2 percent last month.