The U. of I. Flash Index fell slightly in August to 106.0 from its 106.2 level in July. The index has fluctuated in this narrow range (106.0 to 106.2) for the past four months.
While growth in the Illinois economy remains positive and steady (100 is the dividing line between growth and decline), the Illinois economy still lags the national economy.
The Illinois unemployment rate did, however, fall below 7.0 percent (to 6.8 percent) for the first time since 2008. It now exceeds the national level by only 0.6 of a percentage point, compared to a nearly two percentage point differential several years ago.
All three components of the index (the individual income tax, corporate tax and sales tax receipts) were down slightly in real terms from the same month last year.
The index, prepared by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate income, personal income and retail sales 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 Aug. 31.