CHAMPAIGN — Attendees of Busey Bank Vice Chairman Ed Scharlau's economic seminar appear optimistic about the economy this year.
In a survey taken at Tuesday morning's seminar, the collective opinion of attendees was that:
— The Dow Jones Industrial Average will be 13,076 at year's end, up from 12,217 at the end of 2011.
CHAMPAIGN — Payrolls of major employers are rebounding. Retail sales are growing. The local housing market is stabilizing. And farmers are anticipating another year of strong commodity prices.
Those factors, plus anecdotal evidence, make Busey Bank Vice Chairman Ed Scharlau think the local economy is getting stronger.
DANVILLE — For the first time in more than a decade, Danville's annual police and fire pension costs have decreased, while Champaign's and Urbana's are expected to increase again.
CHAMPAIGN — Carl Agoston said he was shocked to learn his unemployment benefits will end this month, as a result of the state's unemployment rate going down.
Agoston, laid off in October 2010 as a mental health counselor at the Champaign County Correctional Center, said he was notified Wednesday his extended benefits were coming to an end.
CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County needs to pursue both a high-speed rail line and improved air service, the CEO of the county's economic development group says.
John Dimit said a 220-mph rail line running from Chicago to St. Louis via Champaign makes sense from both a transportation and economic development standpoint.
CHAMPAIGN — After spending years trying to reduce costs and waiting for revenues to stabilize, officials say the city's bleak budget picture could be starting to turn itself around.
CHAMPAIGN – The city council on Tuesday night green-lighted one of the first steps toward continuing development of the University of Illinois Research Park to the east.
URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index showed strong growth in the Illinois economy in April, with large increases in the index the last two months.
The index, which jumped from 99.2 in February to 101 in March, rose to 101.9 in April, according to the UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
CHAMPAIGN — The developer of a proposed downtown Champaign hotel said he has applied to have it branded as a Hyatt Place.
Hans Grotelueschen called Hyatt Place "an upscale, select-service brand" well-suited for the project proposed for the southwest corner of Neil and Church streets.
A roundup of business news:
Navistar affiliates with UI program
URBANA — Navistar Inc. has become the newest corporate affiliate of the Hoeft Technology & Management Program at the University of Illinois.