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Illinois flash economic
index indicates state still in slump
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. The University of Illinois Flash Economic Index
fell in March to 96.3, its lowest reading in nearly 10 years.
The reading indicates that, despite the recent favorable news about
the national economy, the Illinois economy apparently has not recovered
from its yearlong slump. The Flash Index was at 97.0 in both January
and February 2002.
A year ago in March, the reading was 99.7. Any reading below 100 indicates
that the state economy is contracting, while any number above 100 means
the economy is expanding.
The Flash results may reflect that the Illinois economy is undergoing
a slower recovery than the national economy, which reported growth in
the fourth quarter of 2001 and increases in industrial production and
The reading may also reflect the Flash Indexs dependence on Illinois
tax receipts. These may be unduly impacted by corporate refunds and
lower individual payments that reflect past, not current, economic activity.
"Note that Illinois state fiscal problems characterized
as the worst in 25 years are considerably more severe than might
be expected from a modest economic downturn," said J. Fred Giertz,
the UI economist who released the data today.
Corporate tax receipts were still the weakest component of the Index,
although individual income tax and sales-tax receipts were also down
in "real" (inflation-adjusted) terms from the same month last
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 calculated for the 12-month period using data through