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U. of I. Flash Index of economy bounces back to high point

J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs

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


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 last month to 106.9 from its 106.5 level in August. The current reading coincides with the recent high for the Index achieved in July.

The September reading suggests that the Illinois economy was not affected by the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and, at least for now, the related increase in gasoline and other energy prices, J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois professor who compiled the Index, said today (Oct. 3).

“The hurricanes have had a major impact on consumer confidence readings, but apparently had little effect on the behavior of Illinois consumers,” Giertz said.

All three components of the Flash Index were up in real (inflation-adjusted) terms from the same month of last year. Corporate receipts were especially strong last month.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of state growth rates in consumer spending, corporate earnings and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate income, retail sales and personal income 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 Sept. 30.

line chart showing upward trend of economic growth