CHAMPAIGN (AP) — An index that measures the growth of Illinois' economy finished 2013 at one of its highest points since 2007.
The University of Illinois said Thursday its Flash Index hit 107 in December. That was up from 106.5 in November and tied September for the highest reading of 2013. The last time the index was higher was in April 2007.
A reading higher than 100 indicates the state's economy is growing.
Economist Fred Giertz of the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said the economy finished the year strong.
He said that is reason for optimism in spite of stubbornly high unemployment.
Illinois' unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation and stood at 8.7 percent in November. December unemployment hasn't yet been reported.