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Flash Index of Illinois economy climbing, U. of I. economist says


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

Mark Reutter, Business Editor, News Bureau
217-333-0568

8/1/2005


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 strong performance, rising to 106.9 in July from its 106.5 level in June.

A year ago, the Index was at 100, the dividing line between economic growth and decline. It now stands at the highest level since May 1998.

“Despite this good news, the Illinois economy still has not closed the gap with the rest of the nation after a very sluggish recovery from the 2001 recession,” J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois economist who compiled the data, said today. “Last year, for example, the state’s per capita income was only 104 percent of the national average, which is the lowest level since records have been kept.”

In July, all components of the Index were up in “real” (inflation-adjusted) terms from the same month 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 July 31.

line chart showing upward trend of economic growth