Index To Illinois Economy Hits 15-Month High
The Illinois economy is growing at its strongest level in more than a year, according to the University of Illinois Flash Index.
The Flash Index posted a March reading of 107.0. The Flash Index had previously reached that level in January 2014, but then hovered between 106 and 107 for several months.
Illinois Economist Fred Giertz with the University of Illinois Institue of Government and Public Affairs says the Illinois economy is getting stronger, in relation to the national economy ---- and he points to the state’s unemployment numbers as evidence.
“If you go back a couple of years ago, the unemployment rate was a whole lot higher than the national average, one and a half percentage points”, said Giertz. “Now, it’s only slightly above the national average. So we still haven’t caught up to the national unemployment rate, and our growth is somewhat slower than the national level. But it’s approaching it now.”
Illinois’ unemployment rate for February was 6.1%, compared to a national rate of 5.5%.
The Flash Index is compiled from analysis of Illinois tax receipts. Giertz says corporate and personal income tax revenues were up substantially in real terms in March, even when adjusted for the drop in the tax rate.