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Economic Index increased marginally in March
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.
J. Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs
Reutter, Business and Law Editor
(217) 333-0568; email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —
The University of Illinois Flash Economic Index increased marginally
in March to 95.8 from 95.6 in February.
Still the Illinois economy remains stalled in a no-growth pattern, much
like its position during the past 15 months. Since January 2002, the
monthly Index readings have ranged from 97 to 94.2 – consistently
below the 100 dividing line between economic growth and contraction.
"The start of the war in Iraq has had little impact on the Index,
but its effects may be felt soon, either positive or negative,"
said J. Fred Giertz, the Illinois economist who released the Flash Index
Corporate tax receipts were the strongest component of the Index last
month, but sales-tax receipts were flat and individual income-tax collections
were down significantly. "This signals no relief for the state’s
continuing fiscal problems," Giertz said.
The Flash Index 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 March