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UI Flash Index marks
13th straight month of negative growth
Mark Reutter, Business Editor
(217) 333-0568; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Index dropped
to 94.2 in May from its 95.0 level in April. This is the 13th straight
month of negative growth for the state economy and lowest monthly Flash
reading in more than 10 years.
"A disconnect persists between reports about the rebound of the
national economy and the relatively weak performance of the Flash Index,"
said J. Fred Giertz, the economist at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign who released the data today.
"Gross Domestic Product rose significantly in the first quarter
of 2002 and productivity has remained strong. There are, however, nagging
doubts about the existence and strength of the recovery," Giertz
Two components of the Flash Index individual income-tax receipts
and corporate-tax receipts were down significantly for May. This
weakness in receipts over the past year has led to serious budget problems
facing the state of Illinois. A year ago in May the Flash Index stood
"If the recovery is indeed under way, the Flash Index should begin
to increase in the near future," Giertz said.
The Flash Index is a weighted average of state growth rates in corporate
earnings, consumer spending and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate
income, personal income and retail sales are adjusted for inflation
before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component
is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through May 31.