Flash index holds steady for August

Flash index holds steady for August

URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index remained at 106.5 in August, indicating the state economy's growth rate is no longer speeding up.

The index reading — compiled by economist J. Fred Giertz for the UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs — stayed at its highest point since July 2007, when the index stood at 106.7.

The fact that the index remained the same as in July "does not mean the Illinois economy is not growing, just that growth is not accelerating," Giertz said in a UI release.

Readings above 100 indicate the economy is growing, while reading below 100 indicate the economy is declining.

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

To come up with it, Giertz examines the state's monthly receipts from corporate income tax, individual income tax and retail sales tax, adjusts them for inflation and calculates growth rates.

Giertz said national statistics show the U.S. economy grew at a faster pace in the second quarter of this year than originally reported.

But he said growth in the Illinois economy has had "little impact on the unemployment rate, which increased slightly in July to 9.2 percent."

In August, two components of the index — individual income tax and sales tax receipts — were up moderately, compared with a year earlier.

At the same time, corporate tax receipts were down slightly, when compared with year-ago figures.

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