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Illinois flash index rises slightly


J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs
(217) 244-4822
Mark Reutter, Business Editor

(217) 333-0568

5/1/2003



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 University of Illinois Flash Index of Economic Growth increased in April to 96.0 from its 95.8 level in March.

While this is the highest Flash reading in more than a year, the level is still below 100, the dividing line between growth and contraction, and indicates a sluggish Illinois economy. A year ago in April, the index stood at 95.0.

"The quick end to the war in Iraq provides hope for continued improvement," said J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois economist who released the Flash Index figure today. "The uncertainty of the war, which was often cited as holding back the economy, has been resolved. There is now the expectation that the slow rate of growth that has characterized the recovery from the recession of 2001 will increase for the remainder of 2003."

Sales-tax receipts in the state were strong last month, while the individual and corporate tax receipts were down slightly from April a year ago.

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 April 30.

line chart showing slight rise in Flash Index