UI index up again in July to 4-year zenith

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.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on August 02, 2012 at 3:08 pm

The Great Depression lasted more than four years; way more.  This one will also.  To expect things to bounce back quickly is foolish.  The important thing is that it is coming back even if it is not as fast as we would like.  The Great Depression started over junk bonds in 1929.  This depression started over similar bogus things in 2007.  F.D.R. took office in 1932; and by 1940 the economy had recovered.  It takes time, cooperation in Congress, and faith by the public for it to recover this time also.  There are no quick fixes, or miracles out there.