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U Of I Flash Index Falls Slightly, Indicating Slow Economic Growth

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The University of Illinois Flash Index fell by 0.1 point to 104.3 from March. However, any number above 100 indicates a growing economy.

Economist Fred Giertz, who works at U of I's Institute of Government and Public Affairs, compiles the index. He says the slow economic growth and limited change to the index  is a result of mixed factors, such as the continuing budget crisis and a lower unemployment rate. He also noted first-quarter Gross Domestic Product numbers were lower than usual.

“While politicians are suggesting that a 3 percent-plus growth rate is attainable, the economy is struggling to reach an annual 2 percent rate," he said.

The Flash Index is a weighted average of growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income.

Giertz says April individual income tax receipts were higher than a year ago, but sales tax receipts were lower. The numbers on corporate taxes cannot be easily compared due to a new processing system used by the Illinois Department of Revenue.