The University of Illinois’ monthly reading of the state’s economy ended 2012 on a positive note. The Flash Index, by which anything above 100 means growth, was 104.6 for December. That’s up from 103.9 in November.

The index is a weighted average of consumer spending, corporate earnings, and personal income. “Part of (the success) was corporate profits, which doesn’t do a lot for unemployment,” says study author Fred Giertz, an economics professor who directs the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “As time has gone by, the economy has gained a little bit of its strength, but still not as much as we need to get back to full steam again.”

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While Giertz admits your confidence in the economy is directly tied to whether you have a job, he is optimistic about 2013 being a better year than 2012.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/