Flash Index Shows Continuing Steady Growth

The Illinois economy continues to grow at a steady rate.

The University of Illinois Flash Index ticked up to 105.6 in December, slightly higher than November’s 105.4. Any number above 100 indicates economic growth.

U of I economist Fred Giertz compiles the index. He said that despite some continuing fiscal issues in Illinois, the state’s economy has come a long way over the last ten years.

“We had an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent in Illinois. Today it’s 3.8 percent, the lowest in 50 or 60 years,” Giertz said. “The Flash Index ten years ago was in the low 90s range, and now it’s well above 100.”

But Giertz said despite the continued economic growth, the state still has some fiscal problems to overcome.

“Illinois, even though it’s doing very well by comparison to past years, is not growing as fast as the rest of the country, so there’s been stories the last week or so about modest population loss,” Giertz said. “We know we have all kinds of problems with our fiscal situation.”

He said all three areas measured by the Flash Index, corporate income, individual income, and retail sales tax receipts all show growth, with corporate income tax receipts being the strongest in 2019.

Brian Moline is Morning Edition host at WILL and Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom. Follow him on Twitter @BMolineWILL.

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Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.