Flash Index Continues To Rise In July
By Jim Meadows
July was another strong month for the Illinois economy, according to the University of Illinois Flash Index.
The Index had a reading of 106.5 in July. That is up two-tenths of a point from June, and up nearly two full points from April. But U of I economist Fred Giertz said the economic recovery continues to be hampered by a relatively high unemployment rate ---- 9.8% in June.
Still, Giertz said that is an improvement from the worst months of the recession, but he said it should have fallen more.
“Usually, a recovery takes place, and four years after the recession, we’re back to what we might consider a normal or acceptable unemployment rate, maybe five or six percent," Giertz said. “So, we’re still a long ways away from that."
Giertz said it appears that the overall growth in the economy indicated by the Flash Index has not been enough to create enough new jobs for both the unemployed and new job-seekers.
The Flash Index is based on Illinois income, sales and corporate tax receipts. Any reading above 100 represents economic growth. Any reading below 100 represents economic contraction.