Trade Conflicts Not Affecting Illinois Economy…Yet
The United States’ trade conflicts with China and other countries aren’t yet having an effect on Illinois’ economic growth.
That’s according to the latest Flash Index from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, which is at 104.9 for July, up a tenth of a point from last month.
Economist Fred Giertz compiles the Flash Index. Giertz said the trade war could have a longer-term negative effect on the state’s economy.
“Were we to have a more general kind of long-term reduction in trade, it certainly would be harmful, not just to the US economy, but to Illinois as well, because we have, obviously, the large agricultural exports." Giertz said. "We also have lots of other things that are exported as well.”
Any number above 100 in the Flash Index signifies economic growth, while any number below 100 means the state’s economy is contracting.
He said one positive trend is the narrowing of the gap between the national unemployment rate and the state’s jobless rate.
"It used to be that the gap between the US rate and the Illinois rate was over a percentage point," Giertz said. "Now it’s only three tenths of a point, so it shows that Illinois is doing a little bit of catch up.”
July’s Flash Index of 104.9 matches its highest level since a reading of 105 in June of 2016.