Slow growth is still growth, but the University of Illinois Flash index shows the improvement in the state’s economy is not gaining altitude. On a scale in which 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction, the index is 106.3, up from 106.0 one month ago. It has been loitering in that close range for close to a year.
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Study author Fred Giertz, an economics professor, says the declining unemployment rate in the state helps. “The 6.7 rate, even though it’s still above the national average, instead of being 2 percentage points above, as it was a year ago, it’s only about a bit more than half a percentage point,” Giertz says. “Things are improving, but never as much as we probably would like.”
Giertz uses personal income, corporate earnings, and consumer spending to create the weighted average, issued on the first business day of each month.