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U. of I. Flash Index up sharply, sign of growing state economy

The Flash Economic Index, as of Jan. 1, 2007, is being distributed by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

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 November increased strongly to 106.8 from its 106 level in October.

This places the Index near the top of the range that it has occupied for the last 18 months, indicating an expansive Illinois economy.

“While there have been recent mixed signals relating to the national economy, the state economy remains in positive growth territory,” J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois professor of economics who compiles the data, said today. 

“What’s more, the state unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is at the lowest level on record and is below the national rate of 4.4 percent.”

 All three components of the Index (individual income-tax, corporate-tax and sales-tax receipts) were up in inflation-adjusted terms from the same month last year.

Although corporate collections typically are low for November, they were up sharply from November 2005. Individual income-tax collections increased about 11 percent, while sales-tax receipts experienced more modest gains.

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 Nov. 30.