Moody’s Analytics Downgrades Illinois’ Economic Outlook: Rep. Friess Comments

Two firms, Moody’s Analytics and Economic and Consumer Credit Analytics, were hired by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), a nonpartisan arm of the Illinois General Assembly, to generate a report on the economic conditions facing Illinois and its workforce. Their databases and personnel qualify the writers to compare Illinois with other U.S. states, and with the global economy as a whole.

The conclusion of the analytical consortium is that “Illinois will be a below-average performer in the region and among U.S. states,” (“State of Illinois Forecast Report,” page 1) with the key data points of gross State product, employment, and income increasing less than in competitor states. The analysts downgrade Illinois based on downward population growth trends, the State’s stagnant tax base, and the mounting burden placed on local taxpayers to cover the cost of public-sector pensions.

“It’s sad to see the results of this report,” Rep. Friess said. “We have gotten to this point because of the continued reckless spending of the majority party. If the Governor’s proposed budget is passed, local taxpayers are going to pay the price for his irresponsibility. More people will leave Illinois, and our financial future will be bleak. This is exactly why I oppose Governor Pritzker’s proposed budget and will fight for a more sustainable, realistic budget.”

After a spike upward following the 2020-2022 pandemic, Illinois employment growth has returned to its pre-2020 trendline. The Prairie State generates virtually flat numbers of new payroll jobs to replace the old jobs eliminated by economic change, with a net increase of about 1% per year. This 1% figure reappeared in 2023, and the analysts expect it to continue (at best) in future years (page 2 of the report). In addition, the analysts warn of the danger of a future recession or recessions. Negative Illinois trends in the employment subfields of information science and professional and business services (page 3 of the report) bode poorly for Illinois’ long-term economic health, given the importance of these subfields as electronic automation and artificial intelligence take on greater and greater roles in economic production and productivity.

Rep. Friess proudly serves the people of the 115th District.