URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index continued its steady upward climb in July, reaching 102.9, its highest point in more than four years.
The index — a weighted average of growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income in Illinois — rose from 102.7 in June, according to a release from the UI Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
The flash index has increased throughout 2012, starting the year at 98.8 in January. The July reading was the highest since April 2008.
All three components of the index — individual income tax, corporate tax and sales tax receipts — were up last month from July 2011, when adjusted for inflation.
However, growth remains slow enough that the state's unemployment rate hasn't come down.
Last month, the Illinois unemployment rate rose from 8.6 percent to 8.7 percent.
"This indicates that the modest growth in the economy was not sufficient enough to both reduce the backlog of the unemployed and accommodate new entrants into the workforce," the UI release stated.
The flash index was developed by economist J. Fred Giertz and is released monthly by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.