U of I Flash Index Shows Second Consecutive Monthly Increase
The University of Illinois’ Flash Index shows an Illinois economy that continues to hold its own, while still lagging behind the nation as a whole. The Flash Index for February measured the Illinois economy at 104.6, up from 104.4 in January.
The February reading was the highest since May of last year, but the Flash Index is still running below its most recent peak of 107.1 in 2015
It is the second consecutive monthly increase in the Flash Index, following three years, which saw more decreases than increases.
U of I economist J. Fred Giertz compiles the Flash Index for the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He says the Flash shows a growing state economy, one that is much improved from previous years of economic contraction.
“The Illinois economy is doing very well, especially compared to years ago, when we had the recession and major slow-down,” said Giertz. “But we’re not doing as well as the rest of the country.”
For comparison, Giertz contrasts Illinois’s low unemployment rate for February of 4.9% with the even lower national rate of 4.1%.
“But it’s quarreling about something which is pretty good,” said Giertz. “Whether it’s really good compared to the rest of the country or pretty good is the question.”
The Flash Index is based on Illinois tax receipts. Giertz says all three types of tax receipts (corporate income, individual income and sales taxes) were up in February from a year ago.