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|Economic Indicators Possibly On the Way Up
|An indicator of the health of the Illinois economy rose a little in February, possibly suggesting that things may continue to be on the way up.
Economist Fred Giertz at the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs compiles and authors the monthly Illinois Flash Index. He says the Illinois economy appears to have resumed an upward trend, and finished February at a rate of 91.5 -- up from 91.2, even though any number under 100 still represents economic contraction.
But with the Flash Index still going up while indicating contraction, Giertz says the numbers can still seem confusing.
"By one measure, the recession is very likely over," Giertz said. "Gross Domestic Product is growing again. But by other measures such as unemployment, the economy is still in a pretty dire situation."
Giertz says the recession has forced companies to re-think their operations, which has led to the high unemployment. "The good news is that businesses have become more efficient during the last couple years. That's good for the long-term -- means we're going to be more competitive and that the economy is going to be better after several years. The short-term bad news is that (businesses) don't need as many people to produce the goods and services they were producing."
Giertz expects unemployment to fall very slowly over the next year. As for the Flash Index moving upward again after a stagnant January, Giertz says corporate tax receipts increased, while personal income tax and sales tax receipts were pretty much flat.
|03 06 10 by Newsroom
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