Index of Illinois Economy Falls Half A Point In September

graph showing Flash Index readings over the past three years.

Graph showing Flash Index readings over the past three years.

U of I Institute of Govt. & Public Affairs

The Flash Index of the Illinois economy dropped half a point in September to 106.0. That’s the lowest level for the Index since a 106.0 reading in August, 2014.

The Index has fluctuated between 106.0 and 107.2 since May, 2013.

University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz compiles the Flash Index for from Illinois tax receipts for the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He says it’s too soon to know if the September drop is a one-time thing, or something worse. 

“This decline suggests the economy may be slowing slightly,” said Giertz. “But the Index is still well above 100, which is the dividing line between growth and contraction. So, again, it’s not good news, but it doesn’t mean that we’re headed down. It just means we’re not growing quite as fast as we were before.”

Giertz says the Illinois economy could be slowed by uncertainty over economic problems in Europe in China --- and Illinois’ own state budget impasse. On the other hand, he says the state’s economy has benefitted from continued decreases in unemployment.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income, based on tax receipts. Giertz says the data was adjusted for the state’s new individual and corporate tax rates. And despite the September decline in the Index, he says all three tax components were up slightly in real terms from September, 2014.

Story source: WILL