The University of Illinois’ Flash index rose slightly last month.
Any number above 100 indicates economic growth. Last month’s index came in at 104.3. Economist J. Fred Giertz explains that the Flash is a weighted average of consumer spending, personal income, and corporate earnings. He says last month was good for retailers.
"Most of December was strong in sales, and that's not just because it was the Christmas season," he said. "It actually was stronger than past years. This is a difference in both the Illinois and national economy."