Latest Reports

Latest Fiscal and Economic Policy Reports

September 1, 2021

The University of Illinois Flash Index in August fell slightly to 105.6 from last month’s level of 105.8.

This was the second month of modest decline in the index since it recovered to 106.0 in June of this year from 93.1 in June of 2020. See the full Flash Index Archive for monthly readings. 

August 2, 2021

The University of Illinois Flash Index in July ended its rapid climb from the depth of the COVID-19 crisis, falling to 105.8 from the 106.0 level in June. This does not signal a flagging Illinois economy, only that the rate of increase has plateaued.   

July 27, 2021

In recent years, more than one out of every four dollars spent by the state of Illinois went to Medicaid and more than one out of five state residents got their healthcare through the program. The amount spent on the program and the number of people served have grown dramatically over the last several decades. A program of this size and breadth deserves tremendous attention and scrutiny, both because healthcare is a linchpin for people’s well-being and because the Medicaid program is tremendously important to Illinois’ economy and fiscal situation.

July 27, 2021

In recent years, more than one out of every four dollars spent by the state of Illinois went to Medicaid and more than one out of five state residents got their healthcare through the program. The amount spent on the program and the number of people served have grown dramatically over the last several decades. A program of this size and breadth deserves tremendous attention and scrutiny, both because healthcare is a linchpin for people’s well-being and because the Medicaid program is tremendously important to Illinois’ economy and fiscal situation.

July 1, 2021

The June University of Illinois Flash Index continued its climb with an increase to 106.0 from its 105.3 level in May, remaining well above the 100-level that divides growth and decline

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic maintained a pace few would have dreamed of a year ago at the end of fiscal year 2020.

June 1, 2021

The May University of Illinois Flash Index continued its robust recovery, with an increase to 105.3 from its 101.5 level in April. As with April, the increase was one of the largest in the index’s 26-year history.

May 3, 2021

The April University of Illinois Flash Index jumped to 101.5 from its 97.8 level in March, roaring past the 100-level that divides growth and decline.

This increase was the largest in the history of the index, although the declines of March and April 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis were larger in absolute terms. See the full Flash Index Archive.

April 22, 2021

Illinois’ fiscal challenges have been widely discussed, sometimes under-emphasized and sometimes exaggerated. The authors believe that dealing with the state’s fiscal challenges will require an objective and realistic assessment of the facts and potential paths forward. This analysis is provided in that spirit.

April 1, 2021

The March University of Illinois Flash Index showed marked strength, rising to 97.8 from its 96.6 level in February. This reading was the result of both an improving economy and certain technical factors. 

March 30, 2021

This Policy Spotlight suggests remedies to the current, national housing crisis based on an analysis of policies adopted to counter the housing market crash of 2008.

The COVID-19 pandemic put millions of Americans out of work and at risk of homelessness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed an emergency moratorium on evictions, but the expiration of that moratorium and others enacted by states threaten to bring a flood of evictions.