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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Economy Growing, But Slowly

University of Illinois

The Illinois economy continues to grow … but at a slower rate than a few months ago. That’s according to a monthly economic report from the University of Illinois.

The U of I Flash Index fell to 105.8 in October from 106 in September. Though any number over 100 indicates growth in the state's economy, this is the third month of decline for the index.

The report's author Fred Giertz says the slower growth is a reflection of a bigger global trend -- including slowdowns in Europe and China.

"There are all kinds of things that we can do in Illinois to try to deal with some of the issues but overall, our economy kind of lives or dies or goes up or down with the world economy and we can't do much about that," Giertz said. 

Giertz says factors that seem positive, like the high value of the U.S. dollar and lower fuel prices, also slow the state's economic growth.

The state only added 22-hundred new jobs since the beginning of the year, according to the state’s Department of Employment Security. Illinois unemployment rate, however, has dropped to 5.4 percent…though that number can leave out those who choose to quit looking for work.

Meisel works for Capitol News Illinois.