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Flash Index of Illinois economy falls for second straight month

Mark Reutter, Business & Law Editor

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 fell in March to 105.9 from its 106.6 reading in February. The index has declined over the last two months from its eight-year high in January of 107.1.

“The March reading suggests that the pace of economic growth in the state has slowed, but the result is still strongly positive,” J. Fred Giertz, an economist at the U. of I. who prepared the index, said. “This is consistent with forecasts by most observers of the national economy, who expect the economy to continue to expand, albeit at a somewhat slower rate.”

Individual income-tax receipts in Illinois were up slightly in “real” (inflation-adjusted) terms last month compared with March a year ago, while
sales-tax receipts were down by a small margin. Corporate receipts were virtually unchanged.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of state growth rates in consumer spending, corporate earnings and personal income. Tax receipts from these categories 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 March 31.