A monthly measure of Illinois’ economy is the highest it has been in six years. The Flash Index, put out by the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, reads 106.3 for June. It’s a weighted average of personal income, consumer spending, and corporate earnings; 100 is the break-even point between economic growth and contraction.
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The study's author, IGPA director and economics professor Fred Giertz, says, “There’s quite a bit of optimism over the economy over the next year, year-and-a-half.” A downside, he says, is a possible rise in interest rates that a more stable economy would bring.
“The Federal Reserve, I think, will now at some point start winding down the expansion of its monetary policy,” Giertz continues. “What chairman (Ben) Bernanke is saying is that the economy seems to be strong enough that we can withdraw some of the support that’s being given. We have a situation now where … a good-news story actually turns out to be bad news.”