U of I Flash Index retreats in June

July 3, 2017

U of I Flash Index retreats in June


After climbing to a nine-month high in May, the University of Illinois Flash Index retreated a bit in June. The monthly measure of economic activity in Illinois finished the month at 104.4, down from 104.6 a month earlier.

“The expected stronger growth of the national economy in the second quarter has not impacted Illinois as yet,” said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the index for the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “Nevertheless, the Illinois economy remains surprisingly strong in the current volatile political environment in the state, nation and world.”

The index has remained in the 104-105 range for the past 12 months, ranging from a high of 104.8 in August 2016 to a low of 104.1 in both November and February. It was last at 105 or higher in June of 2016. A reading of 100 or higher indicates the state’s economy is growing, while a reading below 100 indicates a contracting economy. The index hasn’t been below 100 since February 2012. View the full Flash Index archive.

The Illinois unemployment rate declined again in June to 4.6 percent, only three-tenths of a point above the national average, Giertz said. This compares to a 1.2 percentage point differential a year ago. The jobless recovery appears to be over even though the overall labor participation rates have not shown a similar improvement, he said.

Both individual income tax and sales tax revenues were down from the same month last year after adjusting for inflation. Corporate tax receipts remain non-comparable to past years because of new processing procedures in the Department of Revenue.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income. Tax receipts from corporate income (estimated), 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, 2017.

Research Area: Fiscal Health of Illinois

Policy Initiative: none