Illinois Flash Index, a tabular reduction of Illinois economic numbers and trends published by the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, rose to 107 in March. The Institute’s Fred Giertz credited Illinois employers with reducing the State’s jobless rate to 6.0% in February. As a momentum indicator, the Flash Index often uses the most-recent figures from previous months to show the momentum of key sectors within Illinois’ economy.
Readings above 100 indicate an expanding Illinois economy. The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois year-over-year growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income. The Index had stagnated in a range bounded by 106.0 and 106.8 throughout calendar years 2014, indicating continued slow growth, high unemployment, and low profit margins discouraging private-sector hiring decisions.