The latest University of Illinois Flash Index shows the state’s economic growth rate continuing its year-long, near-steady decline.
The Index fell from 103.1 in March, to 102.9 in April. It had been as high as 106.1 in March 2022. Any Flash Index reading above 100 indicates a growing economy in Illinois.
Economist Fred Giertz prepares the Flash Index for the U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs, basing it on Illinois’ monthly tax receipts.
“I think the unusual in-flow of taxes the last year and a half or so is a combination of things, most importantly, having to do with the federal stimulus,” said Giertz.
All three categories of tax revenue (individual income, corporate and sales taxes) were down in inflation-adjusted terms, when compared to April 2022. Individual income tax receipts fell the most.
Giertz expects Illinois’ economy to continue its slowdown, with the end of federal stimulus funding meant to help businesses and households weather the pandemic.
Giertz says his attention now is on rising worries among economists of a potential nationwide recession.
“The economy, as far as employment is concerned, and to a certain extent inflation, is very strong,” said Giertz. “And if there is a recession, it will be one induced by the Federal Reserve, probably more or less on purpose, trying to rein in inflation.”