Flash Index Finds Improvement In Illinois’ Economy In May


The Flash Index of economic activity in Illinois increased in May to its highest point in nine months.

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois said Thursday that the Flash Index hit 104.6 last month. That is up from 104.3 in April.

Economist Fred Giertz, who compiles the Flash Index, says the jump was a surprise ----- and a sign that the state and national economies continue to slowly expand, in spite of what he called “dysfunction in both Washington and Springfield.”

Illinois has gone almost two years without a full state budget, while the opening months of the Trump administration have been marked by political and legal intrigue.

“There are expectations now that the second quarter will be considerably stronger than the slow first quarter of 2017,” Giertz said in a news release.

Giertz pointed out that Illinois’ unemployment rate fell in May to 4.7 percent. That's just slightly higherthan the 4.4 percent national unemployment rate.

The Flash Index uses tax receipts on corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income to gauge the economy. Any measure of 100 or more indicates expansion.

The index showed the state's economy in contraction for 39 straight months between late 2008 through early 2012 but expansion since then.

Story source: WILL