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UI Flash Economic Index rebounds

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

Mark Reutter, Business Editor
(217) 333-0568

11/3/2003

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 Economic Index rebounded in October to 96.8 from its 96.2 level in September.

This reverses September’s decline and lifts the Index to the highest level since May 2003. A year ago in October, the Index was 95.6.

The latest reading for the Illinois economy is consistent with the positive performance of the national economy reported in recent days. However, the Flash Index has not registered increases of the magnitude reported for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which rose by 7.2 percent annualized rate for the third quarter.

It appears that the state economy is rebounding very slowly, and the Flash Index is still below the 100 mark that signifies growth. The Index has been below 100 since May 2001.

Corporate receipts in Illinois were up strongly compared with the same month last year, while sales-tax receipts were up only slightly. Individual income-tax receipts were somewhat below last year’s level.

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 Oct. 31.

line chart showing Flash Index up in October