A monthly index shows the Illinois economy expanding at its highest level in more than two years.
The August Flash Index topped 105, on a scale where anything above 100 reflects economic growth.
While the Flash Index is at its highest point since June 2016, it was even higher in 2014 and ’15, at times topping 107. But economist Fred Giertz, who compiles the Flash Index for the University of Illinois, says the current 105-point-1 number actually reflects more economic growth now. He says that’s because the Flash measures the rate of economic growth, in what is now a larger state economy.
“Four or five years ago, we were at a much lower base, much worse off, much higher unemployment. But we were expanding somewhat more quickly. So today, even though the Flash Index is 105, we’re much better off than we were several years ago when it was at a higher level.”
The Flash Index is based on Illinois sales, corporate and individual tax receipts, all of which were up in August.