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Flash Index of Illinois economy unchanged, indicating strong growth

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 for September remained unchanged from its August level at 106.4.

The index has been very stable during the first three quarters of 2006, fluctuating within a two-point range.

The results indicate that the Illinois economy shows no signs of slowing, even though there is concern at the national level that the economy may be losing some momentum.

“The state is experiencing strong but sustainable growth,” J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois professor of economics who compiles the data, said today.

Two components of the Flash Index (individual income-tax and corporate tax receipts) were up modestly in real terms last month from the same month last year, while sales tax receipts were virtually unchanged.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of state growth rates in consumer spending, corporate earnings and individual 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 Sept. 30.

Index readings above 100 mean the economy is growing, while readings below 100 mean the economy is contracting.