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Flash Index of Illinois economy up slightly in December, latest data show

J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs

Mark Reutter, Business Editor, News Bureau


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 rose slightly in December to 106.6 from its 106.4 level in November.

The Index has remained in a tight range (from 106.4 to 106.9) since last June, which indicates that the state economy is growing at a moderate to strong rate, J. Fred Giertz, the University of Illinois economist who released the data, said today.

Despite a number of concerns in 2005, including high oil prices and the loss of manufacturing jobs, the Illinois economy performed well, operating well above the 100 mark, the dividing line between economic growth and contraction, during the year.

For December, corporate tax receipts were up strongly in “real” (inflation-adjusted) terms compared with December 2004. Individual income-tax receipts were virtually unchanged, while sales-tax receipts were down slightly.

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 Dec. 31.