Flash Index: Illinois Economy Continues to Grow

Feb 6, 2018

University of Illinois Professor Emeritus J. Fred Giertz specializes in state and local taxation and expenditure analysis and in regional economic development issues.
Credit University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Department of Economics

The University of Illinois Flash Economic Index for January rose three-tenths of a point to 104.4. Anything over 100 indicates the state’s economy is growing.

Economist Fred Giertz reports that that Flash’s rise is driven by strong individual income tax receipts. He also says Illinois’ economic health and strong unemployment figures also mirror the national economy. "It’s been an upward trajectory. Unemployment has been going down, but we haven’t move as fast as the national economy," Giertz said.

Giertz added that the latest national growth is partly due to excitement about the federal income tax cut. But he thinks that excitement is starting to fade. "It’s probably not going to propel the economy and the stock market upward in a kind of rapid expansion that seems to be true or what people thought the last couple of months or so," Giertz explained.

Geirtz says people should watch carefully to see if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. If rates go up, that’s actually good news at it means the economy is strong.

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