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A University of Illinois economist says a monthly index of Illinois' economic growth continues to show slow but steady improvement.

Economist Fred Giertz (GURTZ) said Monday that the U of I Flash Index reading for the month of October was up slightly to 106.6. Any reading above 100 indicates economic expansion across the state.

Giertz said in a news release the slow recovery has been advancing in Illinois for more than two years.

Giertz also noted the improvement has started to show up in the state's unemployment rate. State officials said last month that unemployment was down to 6.6 percent in September and had dropped for seven consecutive months.

The index measures economic growth or contraction in Illinois based on corporate, income and sales tax receipts.

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