Flash Index: Illinois Economy Not Improving Fast Enough
By Sean Powers
A monthly indicator of economic activity in Illinois says growth in the state is not accelerating fast enough.
The University of Illinois Flash Index dropped slightly again in March to 104.7 from its 104.8 level last month.
While any reading above 100 indicates economic growth, U of I Economist Fred Giertz said there is reason to be concerned.
“There’s kind of a worrisome situation developing where the state of Illinois doesn’t seem to be participating as fully as the rest of the country in the recovery," Giertz said. "The unemployment rate went up in Illinois while in the rest of the country it went down. So, that’s something we don’t really know where it’s headed right now. So far, it’s not really encouraging news.”
According to Giertz, the national unemployment rate fell in February to 7.7 percent from its 7.9 percent reading the preceding month. However, in January Illinois’ rate increased to 9.5 percent from its 9.0 level.
The Flash Index is based on individual, corporate, and sales tax receipts.