Latest Reports

Latest Economic Policy Reports

April 1, 2019

The University of Illinois Flash Index rose slightly in March to 105.4, up one-tenth of a point from the previous month and matching the reading in January. The reading indicates that the Illinois economy continues in the moderate growth pattern that it has maintained over the last year. A Flash Index reading above 100 indicates the economy is growing while readings below 100 indicate economic contraction.

March 1, 2019

The University of Illinois Flash Index slipped a tick for the second straight month in February, dropping to 105.3. However, even with the dip from January's reading of 105.4, the Illinois economy continues to expand at a moderate rate.

February 21, 2019

Few will argue that Illinois has significant issues with the underfunding of its five public employee pension systems. In fact, many say the state faces a continuing “pension crisis.” 

However, this report argues that this “crisis” framework or mentality surrounding the issue actually impedes a sustainable solution. The report urges policymakers to rethink the conversation about pensions and Illinois’ finances. 

February 1, 2019

The University of Illinois Flash Index slipped a tenth of a point in January, falling to 105.4. As it has been for the past four months, the Flash remains near its three-year high of 105.6 reached in February 2016, indicating that the Illinois economy remains relatively strong.

The Flash Index is a monthly measure of economic activity in Illinois as determined by individual, corporated and retail sales tax receipts. A reading above 100 indicates economic growth.

January 31, 2019

This report, published by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, provides a primer on tax increment financing and recommends several options for improving its use as an economic development tool.

January 2, 2019

The University of Illinois Flash Index reached 105.5 in December, up two-tenths of a point from the previous month and a 34-month high. The monthly barometer of the Illinois economy rose more than a full point over the course of the year and ended 2018 at its highest point since hitting 105.6 in February 2016.

December 3, 2018

The University of Illinois Flash Index reached 105.3 in November, its highest level since the same reading in May 2016. The monthly indicator of the Illinois economy was up from 105.2 in October.

See Flash Index readings back to 1981

The Flash Index has used monthly tax receipts to estimate economic activity in the state since 1995 with historic readings dating to 1981. Any reading above 100 indicates growth in the economy.

November 1, 2018

The University of Illinois Flash Index remained steady in October at 105.2, the same reading as September. That is the highest reading for the monthly measure of the Illinois economy since May 2016. 

The Flash Index incorporates growth rates in the state’s corporate earnings, consumer spending and retail sales using tax receipts. Any index reading above 100 denotes economic growth in the state. View the full Flash Index archive

October 1, 2018

The University of Illinois Flash Index continued its upward climb in September, rising to 105.2, up one-tenth of a point from August. This is the highest reading since May 2016 and marks the third consecutive month of increase in the index, which measures the strength of the Illinois economy. 

September 4, 2018

The University of Illinois Flash Index reached its highest point in more than two years in August, climbing to 105.1. That’s up from 104.9 in July.

The monthly measure of the Illinois economy was last above the 105 mark in June 2016. The August reading is the highest since a 105.3 mark in May 2016. Read the full Flash Index archive.