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Illinois Flash Index up slightly in January

Mark Reutter, Business Editor, (217) 333-0568


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 Illinois economy.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Illinois economy began the first month of 2003 with a slight uptick in activity.

The University of Illinois Flash Index rose marginally last month to 95.7 from its December reading of 95.5. While this represents the highest Flash reading in 10 months, it is still well below the 100 dividing line between growth and contraction for the state economy. Last January, the Index stood at 97.0.

The performance of various components of the Flash Index was mixed. Corporate tax receipts were up, while individual income tax and sales-tax receipts were down from January a year ago.

"The Illinois economy is showing no signs of a significant rebound from its stagnant levels of last year where the Flash Index has been at or near the 95 mark since April 2002," said J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois economist who released the reading today.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois 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 Jan. 31.

line chart showing slight upward movement