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Flash Index Climbs Again In May

The post-recession economic expansion shows no sign of ending, nationwide or in Illinois. One piece of evidence is the latest University of Illinois Flash Index to the Illinois economy. It rose in May to 104.9, from April’s 104.7. 

Any number above 100 on the Flash Index is a sign of economic growth. And University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says Illinois is enjoying steady growth with no end in sight.

“This is good news but it’s not unusual”, said Giertz. “We were higher than that a couple of years ago. So it more or less means that the expansion that we’ve been experiencing for a long time is continuing and actually gaining a little bit of momentum, although not a huge change. So it’s a positive move in that regard.”

Giertz compiles the Flash Index based on state tax receipts for the U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. In May, similar to April, sales and corporate tax receipts were down while income tax receipts were up, when compared to tax receipts from the same month a year earlier.

Giertz says the steady economic growth may seem unusual for Illinois, given the negative headlines it’s generated during its recent budget crisis. But the economist says while Illinois is far from a national leader in economic growth --- but it’s not at the bottom.

The state ranked 33rd in the nation for annual Gross Domestic Product growth in 2017. And Illinois’ per capita income is rising, while its unemployment rate is falling.

You can view the complete Flash Index archive here.