U of I Flash Index Climbs Above 100


An indicator of Illinois' economic growth has broken the 100 mark for the first time in more than three years.

The monthly University of Illinois Flash Index came in at 101.0 for March, up from 99.2 in February. Anything over 100 indicates economic growth. Last month's results are the highest since September 2008.

But index author and U of I economist Fred Giertz said there's nothing magical about that level, noting Illinois' unemployment rate is at 9-percent, compared to 8.3 percent nationwide. he said a rating of over 100 doesn't mean the upward trend will continue next month.

"There's always a question - was that an aberration, or is that going to continue?" Giertz said. "But right now, it seems like the signs are pretty good. But there is no assurance. This is not a prediction of the future. It's a kind of measure of where we are right now. So the hope is that we'll continue, but the index doesn't tell us where it's going or how fast it will go up."

Giertz said it will likely be at least a year or two before unemployment rates in the 6-percent range are achieved.

The Flash Index is based on individual, corporate, and sales tax receipts.

Story source: WILL