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UI Flash Index of Economic Growth remains constant


3/4/2002

EDITORS, 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 of Economic Growth remained constant in February at 97.0.

This is the same as the adjusted reading for January. (The January Flash Index was reported at 97.1, but recently available information resulted in the slight downward revision.)

"Despite numerous reports about the imminent end of the recession, the Flash Index indicates that the recession is not yet over in Illinois," said J. Fred Giertz, the UI economist who released the data today.

A year ago in February, the Index stood at 100.8. The national recession officially began last March, which was the same month that the Flash Index went into negative growth.
With the exception of April 2001, the Index has been below 100 for the last 12 months, with the lowest levels recorded last month and in January.

Corporate tax receipts remained the weakest Index component last month. "It may take some time for corporate tax payments to rebound because corporations continue to reduce their tax payments from the carry forward of past losses," Giertz said.
Both individual income tax and the sales tax in Illinois were flat in "real" (inflation-adjusted) terms.

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 Feb. 28.