U of I Flash Index dips to 104.8 in June

July 2, 2018

U of I Flash Index dips to 104.8 in June


The University of Illinois Flash Index dipped in June to 104.8, down from the 104.9 level in May. The June reading keeps the index in the 104-105 range it has been within, with the exception of one month, since July 2016. View the complete Flash Index archive.

“The past 12 months have been a period of modest growth in the context of an unusually stable economy,” said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the university’s Institute fo Government and Public Affairs. “This is surprising given the degree of instability in state, national, and international politics.” Flash Index readings higher than 100 reflect growth in the state economy.

The index rose from 104.1 to 104.9 between December 2017 and May while the unemployment rate in Illinois fell from 4.9 percent to 4.3 percent. There has not been a lower unemployment rate in Illinois in more than 18 years, since February 2000 when the rate was 4.2 percent. The state rate is still above the national rate of 3.8 percent although the gap between the rates was narrowed considerably the last few years.

“Growth in the national economy the last three quarters appears to be falling short of the 3 percent plus goal of President Trump,” Giertz said. “But there are few signs of an impending slowdown, much less a recession. This obviously is good news for Illinois since the U.S. economy is a major driver of the state’s economy.”

Sales and individual income tax receipts were down slightly in June while corporate tax receipts were up for the month compared to the same month a year ago, after adjusting for inflation and rate changes.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate income, personal income and retail sales 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, 2018.

Additional Resources

Research Area: Fiscal Health of Illinois

Policy Initiative: none