Flash Index Indicates Illinois Economy Continues To Grow
Despite a slight dip, the Flash Index to the Illinois economy is staying in the same 104 to 105 point range that it’s been in for about two years.
The Flash Index measured the Illinois economy at 104.5 for March, one tenth of a point down from February. Any number above 100 indicates economic growth.
University of Illinois economist and Index compiler Giertz says the Illinois economy is getting help from the strong national economy. That’s reflected in Illinois’ statewide unemployment rate of five percent in February.
“It’s not as low as the national unemployment rate,” said Giertz. “But it’s the lowest it’s been in over ten years. And the overall U-S economy continues to grow at close to a three percent pace. So, things look pretty good.”
Giertz says that Illinois’ economic growth comes despite potential clouds on the horizon. That includes a possible trade war and volatile financial markets globally, and whether or not Illinois lawmakers can meet their budget deadline this year.
“The perpetual evergreen Illinois problem is, what’s going to happen with the state budget?” said Giertz. “Is election year a time when they all settle it early to get it over with? Or is it going to drag on and create uncertainty in the state?”
The Flash Index is based on Illinois tax receipts. In March, state sales tax revenue went up, while corporate and individual income tax revenues were down.