The Illinois economy continues to show improvement, at a rate that’s barely perceptible. The monthly Flash Index published by the University of Illinois is 103.2, up from 102.9 last month. Readings over 100 indicate economic growth. Economist Fred Giertz says the rate of growth is slow, but it beats the alternative.
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“Two things are good: One that it’s above 100, and two that it’s also increasing, albeit fairly slowly. The problem though is that just as the economy in general is growing slowly, the Flash Index is not increasing rapidly enough,” he said. The most recent recession officially ended in 2009, and the Flash Index now is a full point below where the index was at this point after recessions in 1991 and 2001.
The Illinois unemployment rate of 9.1 percent is high for this stage of recovery, Giertz says, but nevertheless economic output is growing.