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Flash Index of Illinois economy indicates growth, albeit at slower pace

J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs 217-244-4822
Mark Reutter, Business Editor, News Bureau 217-333-0568

8/1/2006

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 July University of Illinois Flash Economic Index remained virtually unchanged, rising to 106.1 from its 106.0 reading in June.

The index is now midway in the 105.1 to 107.1 range that it has occupied since April of last year. “The July result suggests that the state economy is still moving forward at a good rate even though the pace of the national economy seems to be slowing,” J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois professor of economics who compiles the data, said today.

He noted that the Illinois unemployment rate fell slightly below the national rate in June for the first time since March 1999.
Individual income- and corporate-tax receipts were up slightly last month in real (inflation-adjusted) terms from July a year ago, while sales-tax receipts were down somewhat.

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 July 31.