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Flash Economic Index surprisingly rose last month
Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs,
Reutter, Business Editor
(217) 333-0568; email@example.com
NEWS DIRECTORS: The Flash Index of Economic Growth, produced by economists
at the University of Illinois, is based on the most up-to-date information
on the state economy.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Surprisingly,
the University of Illinois Flash Economic Index rose slightly in October
to 98.4 from 98.2 in September. (See chart below.)
Even though the October reading is low, the results can be viewed as
good news indicating that the Illinois economy did not suffer a precipitous
decline as a result of the September terrorist attacks and their aftermath.
The October index is the first that includes a full month of post-Sept.
Still, October was the sixth consecutive month of a sub-100 reading
for the Flash Index, which indicates that the state economy is in decline.
These results are consistent with national measures that suggest the
economy is headed for at least a minor recession.
The national gross domestic product fell by 0.4 percent in the third
quarter of the year. If, as seems likely, the fourth quarter shows another
decline, the U.S. economy officially will be in recession.
"One reason the Flash Index did not decline last month was because
the new data for October 2001 replaced weak data for October 2000 in
the Index calculations," said J. Fred Giertz, the UI economist
who calculates the data.
A year ago the Flash Index was 102.8. "Individual and corporate
income tax collections were up slightly in real terms last month compared
with October a year ago, while sales-tax receipts were down slightly,"
The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate
earnings, consumer spending and personal income. The growth rate for
each component is then calculated for the 12-month period using data
through Oct. 31.