A sign of Illinois’ economic health is looking up. It’s the University of Illinois Flash Index, coming in at 107, up from 106.5 a month ago. Readings over 100 indicate economic growth; the higher the number, the greater the growth. “The Flash Index reached a post-recession high back in September and it fell very slightly and now it’s back up to that level, so we ended the year on a high note, but again, as always, a high note is not everything we’d like it to be because the economy still has substantial unemployment,” says U. of I. economist Fred Giertz, the author of the index.
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Giertz says we’re getting to the point where economic growth will have to bring down unemployment. The last time the index was higher than this was seven years ago, when it hit 107.4 in April 2007.