URBANA -- A University of Illinois index shows the state's economy continues to grow as it bounces back from the harsh winter.
The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Friday that its U of I Flash Index rose slightly in July to 106.2. Any reading above 100 indicates growth. The index has been at or close to 106 for four months.
Economist Fred Giertz compiles the index using corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income data. He said the question now is whether the momentum will continue through the year.
Illinois' economy has shown signs of strength over the past few months. Unemployment fell to 7.1 percent in July. That's still a full percentage point above the national average but the lowest point for Illinois' unemployment rate since 2008.