Flash Index

An archive of the Flash Index containing monthly data from June 1981 to the most current release.

About the Flash Index

The U of I Flash Index was created in 1995 at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois to provide an instantaneous reading of the performance of the Illinois economy. The index has become the most widely used monthly economic indicator in Illinois, appearing in many newspapers and on broadcast news outlets. It has been reproduced in economic data provided by the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce as well as more specialized sources such as the McGraw-Hill Midwest construction report.

Read More Read Less

Recent Reports

February 2022

The February University of Illinois Flash Index retreated slightly from its stable, upward pace last month, falling to 105.7 from 105.9 in January.

Last month’s index reading is above the 100-level dividing line between economic growth and decline. Illinois’ economy and the national economy remain strong, despite lingering COVID-19 challenges, as well as supply chain problems and inflation—both of which appear more persistent than originally believed.

January 2022

The resurgence of the University of Illinois Flash Index continued in January, rising to 105.9 from its 105.7 level last month. This reading approaches the post-recession high of 106 from June and September of 2021.

Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from its 5.7% level the previous month and 8% a year ago. Fourth-quarter national gross domestic product rose by 6.9% in real terms.


J. Fred Giertz


Professor Emeritus, Institute of Government and Public Affairs | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

J. Fred Giertz's major research interests are in the areas of public finance and regional economic development. He specializes in state and local taxation and expenditure analysis and in regional economic development issues.