UI flash index increases for first time in months

The University’s flash index, a monthly indicator of the Illinois economy, has gone up for the first time in months, according to a press release from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The index rose to 90.7 from 90.0 last month, the first increase in months, and the first substantial increase in two years, according to the release. The index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income. J. Fred Giertz, an economist who has compiled the flash index since 1995, said there is sign of a recovery from the recession, but its strength is still unclear.

“One increase in the index, while positive news, is not decisive,” Giertz said, according to the release. “There has been some encouraging news about the economy recently, including a return to growth for Gross Domestic Product during the third quarter…, but considerable concern remains about the strength of the recovery, as evidenced by weak consumer spending.”