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U. of I. Flash Index rose slightly in January, continuing upward trend

J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs


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 continued its recent strong performance by rising slightly to 103.1 last month from 103.0 in December.

Since September, Flash readings have been above 100, the dividing line between growth and contraction, indicating that the Illinois economy is expanding at a steady pace. A year ago in January, the Flash stood at 98.5.

Individual income-tax receipts were especially strong in January, “suggesting that this is no longer a ‘jobless’ recovery,” said J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois economist who released the data today.

Sales-tax receipts were up slightly in real (inflation-adjusted) terms compared with a year ago, while corporate-tax receipts were relatively weak in a month when revenues are traditionally low.

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 late January.

line chart showing upward trend of economic growth