Latest Reports

Latest Fiscal and Economic Policy Reports

June 29, 2022

This Policy Spotlight discusses the need for carbon taxes, also known as carbon pricing. Climate change has increased the frequency of devastating floods, droughts and wildfires. Policymakers have proposed energy efficiency standards, subsidies for electric vehicles, renewable electricity-generation requirements, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions or a cap-and-trade permit system.

June 1, 2022

U of I Flash Index—May 2022 

 

The University of Illinois Flash Index fell in May, declining to 105.7 compared to 106.0 in April.

The lower index reading does not mean the Illinois economy is contracting because any reading above 100 indicates growth.

May 2, 2022

The University of Illinois Flash Index fell slightly in April, declining to 106.0 from 106.1 in March.

The lower index reading does not mean the Illinois economy is contracting because any reading above 100 indicates growth. 

April 19, 2022

The authors of this Policy Spotlight found that achieving a “fair” state income tax system is more complicated than the debate between a flat tax rate and a graduated rate. The Policy Spotlight illustrates that switching from a flat to a graduated tax rate system will not automatically promote progressivity, and shows that even a flat tax system can allow tax burdens to rise with income. 

April 1, 2022

The March University of Illinois Flash Index moved ahead strongly in March, rising to 106.1 compared to 105.7 in February.

“This is a post-crisis high,” said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “The Illinois economy gained strength as measured by state tax receipts for the month, overcoming the economic headwinds of the invasion of Ukraine and the most recent variant of the COVID-19 virus.”

March 1, 2022

The February University of Illinois Flash Index retreated slightly from its stable, upward pace last month, falling to 105.7 from 105.9 in January.  

Last month's index reading is above the 100-level dividing line between economic growth and decline. Illinois' economy and the national economy remain strong, despite lingering COVID-19 challenges, as well as supply chain problems and inflation—both of which appear more persistent than originally believed. The Russian incursion into Ukraine is too recent to impact the February index. 

February 1, 2022

The resurgence of the University of Illinois Flash Index continued in January, rising to 105.9 from its 105.7 level last month. This reading approaches the post-recession high of 106 from June and September of 2021. 

See the full Flash Index Archive.

January 13, 2022

This Policy Spotlight compares state and local borrowing costs in Illinois with those in other states, as well as with yields on other types of investments. The authors found that Illinois paid a relatively higher price than other states for borrowing during the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local governments in Illinois issued just over $27.3 billion in debt during the period the report covers. The authors estimate that these bond issuers face a total penalty of up to $144.9 million in additional interest costs per year over the life of the bonds issued during that time.

January 5, 2022

In a surprising advance, the University of Illinois Flash Index for December rose to 105.7 from its 105.5 level last month, countering the headwinds caused by the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“This is another example of the resiliency of the Illinois and national economies,” said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “For nearly two years since the onset of the crisis, the economy has been able to weather unprecedented challenges confounding most forecasters.”

November 1, 2021

The University of Illinois Flash Index in October fell to 105.4 from its 106.0 level last month. This decline in Illinois followed the broader national pattern of a slowing recovery from the short, but sharp COVID-19 recession of 2020.

The small recovery the index made in September was wiped out, but the reading remains above the 100-level dividing line between economic growth and decline. See the full Flash Index archive.