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Sluggish Growth Still Tracked in Illinois

Story by WBGZ Radio
While the nation’s economy shows increased growth for the year, Illinois has seen very sluggish growth, and it seems to be slowing down. 

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs’ Flash Index measures Illinois’ economic growth based on how much sales and individual and corporate income tax revenue is brought in. 

University of Illinois Economist Fred Giertz said the updated index for October is at 104.3. That’s down only two-tenths of a point from 104.5 from the month before. That number still indicates growth, but Giertz said it’s slow growth.
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“In the most recent recession, the index would dip down below 100, and then during the recovery, it would go back above, so we’re clearly on the positive side now, but this has been a very...slow recovery from the recession of 2007 and 2009,” Giertz said.

An index of 100 means stagnation. Below 100 indicates negative growth. Above 100 indicates a growing economy. 

Giertz said there are several factors that could be at play in Illinois. One is how the national and global economies impact the state. The other is how state-specific issues are impacting the state’s economy. 

“We have these particular problems in Illinois, largely self-created kinds of problems about the budget and the debt, and so on, which don’t have a necessarily day-to-day impact, but do have some impact on business growth and things of that sort,” Giertz said.
Giertz said the slow growth since the recession ended has been painful. 

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has said Illinois’ rebound from the recession has been the slowest since World War II.
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