UI index falls for 3rd month in a row

UI index falls for 3rd month in a row

URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index dropped for a third straight month in April, indicating slowing growth in the state economy.

The index fell from 106.5 in March to 106 in April, after reaching a post-recession high of 107.2 in January, according to the UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The flash index is a weighted average of growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income as measured by tax receipts.

In April, both individual income tax receipts and corporate tax receipts were down significantly from April 2013, after adjustment for inflation. Sales tax receipts were up moderately from the same time last year.

"This disappointing result may reflect the unusually harsh winter," said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the index. "If this is the case, the economy may eventually grow faster in the second quarter, making up some of this loss."

The decline was consistent with national data that indicated first-quarter growth in gross domestic product was near zero.

Flash index readings above 100 reflect an expanding economy, while readings below 100 reflect economic contraction.

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