Illinois economic index drops in late 2015

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois index of the state’s economy shows that while it is still growing, economic activity slowed late last year to levels not seen in more than two years. The university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Monday its U of I Flash Index fell from 106.1 in November to 105.5 in December. Any reading higher than 100 indicates the state’s economy is growing. But the December reading was the lowest since March 2013. University economist Fred Giertz compiles the index. He said decline in the index could be due in part to the state budget stalemate and its impact on business. The index is a weighted average of growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income in Illinois.