U of I Flash Index falls in June

July 1, 2019

U of I Flash Index falls in June

State’s economy remained steady throughout the fiscal year


The University of Illinois Flash Index fell to 105.2 in June from its 105.4 level the previous month. June was the second month in a row that the index decreased. The index, which measures the strength of the Illinois economy, was at 105.6 in April.

Despite these recent drops, the June index marked the end of the state’s fiscal year that was characterized by a steady performance of the Illinois economy. The index was in the 104.9-105.6 range during the 12-month period. Any reading above 100 denotes growth. See the full Flash Index archive.

This year was a continuation of a long and steady expansion of both the Illinois and national economies that is nearing a record for length, although not for strength.

The Illinois economy began the period with a 4.3 percent unemployment rate and ended with a 4.4 rate, confirming this stability, said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. The national rate remains at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent. 

“Concern about a near-term recession seems to be receding, although some observers see a slowing after a strong first quarter. One reason for this is that the economy is nearing capacity,” Giertz said. “Growth is generated by improved productivity of existing workers and technology as well as an increase in the workforce. With the economy near full employment, workforce increases are likely to be modest.”

Sales and individual receipts were up from the same month last year after adjusting for inflation and rate changes while corporate receipts were lower. All three categories were up for the fiscal year compared to the preceding one.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income as estimated from receipts for corporate income, personal income and retail sales taxes. These are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through June 30, 2019.


Research Area: Fiscal Health of Illinois

Policy Initiative: none