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Flash Index of
Illinois economy down in September
Fred Giertz, Institute of Government and Public Affairs
Reutter, Business Editor
NEWS DIRECTORS: The Flash Index of Economic Growth, produced by University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign economists, is based on the most up-to-date
information on the state economy.
Ill. — In a surprising development, the University of Illinois
Flash Economic Index dropped in September, indicating no apparent pickup
in the Illinois economy.
The September reading of 96.2 – down from 96.7 in August –
is at odds with generally positive signs about the national economy.
This was the lowest Index reading since last April.
“While the September downturn may be an aberration since one month
is never significant by itself, the information is disquieting,”
said J. Fred Giertz, the University of Illinois economist who released
the Flash reading today.
“It seems that every time the economy is poised for a break out
of its recent slow recovery mode, it stumbles,” Giertz said. “Time
will tell whether this is a minor stumble or a more serious spill.”
The Index has been below 100, the break-even mark between economic growth
and contraction, since May 2001.
Sales-tax receipts in Illinois were up from September a year ago, but
individual and corporate income taxes were both down.
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 Sept.