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PHOENIX -- State revenues were up by more than 17 percent last month compared to a year earlier, but state officials said it's too soon to say whether that's a one-time boost or a larger trend.

The Legislature's budget staff said general fund revenues rose to $340 million last month. But they warn the increase overstates real economic growth because February revenues are affected by the processing of income tax returns and can be misleading.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee report released Wednesday shows year-to-date revenue is running 4.4 percent higher than last year and above the state forecast.

A better measure is sales taxes.

Those showed a strong 7.4 percent gain in February compared to a year earlier, a sign consumers are spending more as the economy improves.

Associated Press,

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