URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index, which turned down in October, rebounded in November, signaling more strength in the Illinois economy.
The index increased to 98.7 in November, up from 98.3 in October. The index fell in October from the September reading of 98.8, but that was the first monthly decline in 17 months.
The November upturn reflects the continued slow pace of recovery from recession, said UI economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the index for the UI Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
Strong holiday sales may have affected the November index and will be fully reflected in the December reading, Giertz said.
"The last few days, there has been considerable optimism about the economy based on strong sales at the beginning of the holiday season," he said.
The index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.
To calculate it, Giertz looks at state tax receipts from corporate income, personal income and retail sales. He then adjusts them for inflation and calculates growth rates.
Sales tax receipts were up significantly in November from a year earlier, while individual income tax and corporate tax receipts were down.
Giertz adjusted the figures to take into account increases in the individual and corporate tax rates earlier this year.