Is Illinois on the verge of a recession? Not quite yet, but economic growth has definitely slowed.


That’s according to the latest monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.


The initial focus of January’s COGFA report for Illinois asks if a recession lies ahead. Dan Long, executive director of COGFA, said Illinois’ growth is the slowest it’s been in more than 70 years.


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“We’ve had the slowest recovery from a recession, slowest since at least World War II,” Long said. “The economy is growing, but it’s growing at a rather slow pace and if we start to have a drop off in economic activity we could slide into a recession.”


One indicator of the slowdown is consumers saving their money rather than spending.


“And they’re not spending a lot of the money they’re saving from reduced cost in gasoline and those types of things,” Long said. “So if you see a drop off, and there’s a drop off in the consumer spending that could have a dramatic impact on economic growth.”


Long said they’re not declaring a recession quite yet.


“We’re not there yet, we’re not saying that. The recovery has been in place now for quite some time, probably years or so,” Long said, “so these things go in cycles. But there’s no definition how long it is between recessions or anything to that nature.”  


In the last quarter of 2015, Long said the state only grew seven-tenths of one percent. If that drops off anymore, Long said the state could go into recession, but truly defining when is difficult.


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