It may not be happening fast enough for you, but Illinois' economy is improving and has been for months. The numbers prove it. Fred Giertz, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, compiles the month Flash Index, a weighted average of corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income. On a scale on which anything greater than 100 means growth, the index stands at 107.1 now, up from an even 107 a year ago.
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“The data are a little bit ambiguous, because it's based on tax receipts,” “and in the month of April, there are unusually large receipts because of capital gains the preceding year." The state's end-of-fiscal-year stew of fund sweeps, budget cuts, and restorations make up, Giertz says, a version of “kicking the can down the road,” reminiscent of Illinois' last two governors.