July flash index shows continued growth
CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois flash index rose from 106 in June to 106.2 in July, indicating continued growth in the Illinois economy.
"It appears that the national and Illinois economy have rebounded after the severe winter," said J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the index for the UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
The index, which is based on state tax receipts, has remained in a narrow range of 106 to 106.2 the past four months. Any figure above 100 indicates economic growth, while figures below 100 indicate economic decline.
Recently released data indicated the nation's gross domestic product increased 4 percent in the second quarter of the year, a turnabout from a decline of more than 2 percent in the first quarter.
"The question now is whether the second-quarter momentum will continue the remainder of the year," Giertz said in a release from the institute. "Is the higher growth rate simply a catch-up effect after the slow first quarter? Or, has the economy moved into a sustained faster-growth environment?"
The flash index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.
In July, sales tax receipts were ahead of the same month last year when adjusted for inflation, but individual income tax receipts and corporate tax receipts were down slightly.
Giertz noted that the state unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent in July, down from 9.2 percent in July 2013. But the state unemployment rate remains a percentage point above the national rate.