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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Flash Index Says State Economy At Slowest Growth Since Spring 2013

Institute of Government and Public Affairs, U of I

A monthly snapshot of the state’s economy shows growth in December was the slowest it has been since spring of 2013.

Fred Giertz, who compiles the index for the University of Illinois’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs, says it’s possible the state budget impasse contributed to the economic slowdown. He says it probably hasn’t played that big of a role so far, because the state is collecting less in taxes, leaving more money in consumer’s pockets, while at the same time not cutting back on spending.

But the current rate of spending with lower taxes is unsustainable.

“A lot of local jurisdiction, particularly schools and community colleges, have continued to spend and if the money that they expect to have doesn’t come through, the will start making some layoffs and cut backs,” Giertz said.

Illinois is in its sixth month without a state budget in place. Giertz says the longer the state budget impasse continues, the more it could ultimately be a drag on the state’s economy.

“Uncertainty is not a good thing for the economy, and there’s a lot of uncertainty now,” Giertz said. “Uncertainty about if and how much taxes will go up, uncertainty about whether the state will cut back on various kinds of activities.”

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