An indicator of Illinois' economic growth has broken the 100 mark for the first time in more than three years. The monthly University of Illinois Flash Index came in at 101 for March, up from 99-point-2 in February. Anything over 100 indicates economic growth. But index author and U of I economist Fred Giertz says there's nothing magical about that level, noting Illinois' unemployment rate is at 9-percent, compared to 8-point-3 percent nationwide. Giertz says a rating of over 100 doesnít mean the upward trend will continue next month:
"Thereís always a question - was that an aberration, or is that going to continue? But right now, it seems like the signs are pretty good. But there is no assurance. This is not a prediction of the future. It's a kind of measure of where we are right now. So the hope is that we'll continue, but the index doesn't tell us where it's going or how fast it will go up."
Giertz predicts it will be at least a year or two before unemployment rates are in the 6-percent range. The Flash Index is based on individual, corporate, and sales tax receipts.
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