U of I Flash Index makes unexpected increase in September

October 1, 2019

U of I Flash Index makes unexpected increase in September

The index rebounds after hitting the lowest level for the year so far in August


The University of Illinois Flash Index registered an unexpected gain to 105.5 in September from its 105.1 level in August. 

“Despite numerous reports of slowing U. S. and global economies, Illinois appears to be doing well,” said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

However, Giertz said a word of caution is in order. “A large one-month change in the index can be the result of unusual variations in tax receipts patterns rather than true economic impacts,” he said.

The jump in the index comes after it had hit its lowest level for far for the year in August. See the full Flash Index archive.

Two of the three components of the Flash Index, individual income and corporate tax receipts, were up around 10 percent from the same month last year after adjusting for inflation and rate changes. Sales tax receipts were down slightly.

The unemployment rate in Illinois fell slightly to 4.0 percent, the lowest in many decades. In addition, the Illinois rate was only three-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate. 

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 September 30, 2019. An index reading above 100 denotes growth.



Research Area: Fiscal Health of Illinois

Policy Initiative: none