Flash Index signals improving economy

Flash Index signals improving economy

URBANA — The University of Illinois Flash Index rose from 105.9 in May to 106.3 in June, its highest reading in nearly six years.

The index, compiled by economist J. Fred Giertz for the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs, indicates the Illinois economy is improving.

The index is calculated from individual income, corporate and sales tax receipts. All three categories of tax receipts were up in June, compared with a year earlier, when adjusted for inflation.

"While the economy continues its long, slow recovery, there appears to be considerable optimism that growth will continue and accelerate during the last half of 2013 and into 2014," Giertz said in a UI release.

Giertz said the economic recovery is entering a new phase as the Federal Reserve considers departing from its policy of low interest rates.

"This should be good news, as it indicates that the economy is growing stronger," Giertz said. "However, this also causes uncertainty in the financial markets that have benefited from low interest rates."

The flash index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.

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