Flash Index shows Illinois economy growing at a steady pace

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ economy continues to grow at a steady pace, according to a monthly measure of it from the University of Illinois.

The Flash Index, authored by economics professor Fred Giertz, shows the score has ticked downward by one tenth of a point over the past month, from 106.5 to 106.4.

This movement, says Giertz, is “not a change, but it also reflects the fact that we’ve been in this narrow range for about a year. The highest has been a little over 107, and the low has been about 106.”

The Flash Index is a monthly measure combining personal income, corporate earnings and consumer spending. Anything above a score of 100 indicates growth, below 100 indicates contraction. The index has been above 100 for more than a year.

But what about the state budget mess in Springfield? Giertz says political problems don’t usually affect how the average consumer spends.

“The longer term situation is if there’s a lack of confidence, a lack of certainty about what’s going to happen in the state that has some impact,” Giertz says. “Fortunately, the state of Illinois is not the prime driver of how the Illinois economy goes based on, among other things, world economies.”