Flash Index shows economic activity has stalled in Illinois

On a scale by which 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction, the index is 95.6 for a second month in a row. (Photo U of I Flash Index)


By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The economic recovery is taking a pause, according to the Flash index, the University of Illinois’ monthly measure of the state’s activity.

On a scale by which 100 is the break-even point between growth and contraction, the index is 95.6 for a second month in a row.

However, the stock market – which study author and economics professor Fred Giertz says is a forward-looking measure – performed remarkably in November, despite the coronavirus’ surges. Giertz says it’s positive that there’s news of a vaccine, as well as a likely end to the presidential election once and for all.

The index is a weighted average of consumer spending, corporate earnings, and personal income.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…