The Illinois economy continues to show incremental improvement. The University of Illinois Flash Index reads at 99.2, up from 98.8 last month, with the number 100 indicating a return to economic growth. So we’re creeping closer, says the author of the index, economist Fred Giertz.

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“The recession now has been over for more than 2½ years – it officially ended in the summer of 2009 – but yet 2½ years later, a lot of after-effects are still around, particularly the high rate of unemployment,” he said.

The index hit bottom at 90 in August 2009, and has been mostly on the rise since. The current 99.2 is the highest since November 2008.

The index takes into account individual income tax, corporate tax, and sales tax receipts for a measure of the Illinois economy.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/