October U of I Flash Index Increases Slightly

The U of I Flash Index for October 2023 increased slightly to 103.0 from its 102.9 reading in September. The Index remains in the narrow range it has occupied the last year.

“Though the Index has remained stable, this steadiness results from countervailing factors. State revenues remain strong while Illinois unemployment has ticked upward. Moreover, robust third-quarter national GDP growth suggests a stronger-than-expected U. S. economy.”

The unemployment rate in Illinois rose from 4.1% to 4.4% while the U. S. rate remained at 3.8%. Tax receipts from Illinois’ major taxes, components of the Flash Index, were mixed in September. In inflation-adjusted terms, individual income tax receipts were up strongly, and sales tax receipts were up more modestly compared to last year. Corporate receipts were down; however, October is historically a month of low revenues.

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, individual income, and retail sales taxes. These revenues are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component is calculated for the 12 months using data through October 31, 2023. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, ad hoc adjustments are still needed because of the timing of the tax receipts resulting from state and Federal changes in payment dates in recent years.

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November 1, 2023