Indiana’s shape is relative

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Indiana is in pretty good financial shape, right? That’s the conclusion you’d draw if your sole source were
Gov. Mitch Daniels’ State of the State address this week.

The conclusion would be on target—if the
universe of states were the Rust Belt along with California, New York and several other haggard places. Compared to Illinois,
Ohio and Wisconsin, which are mired deeply in debt, Indiana looks positively pristine.

But Indiana isn’t
without problems. A package of stories posted yesterday by Forbes is worth a look. The magazine
places Indiana 15th in an analysis of debt load and ability to pay the obligations.

On a related
note, an index of leading economic indicators compiled by the Indiana Business Research Center within Indiana
University’s Kelley School of Business staged another uptick in December. The index climbed only 0.2
percent, but at least it was an improvement. The index has been on a slow upward trend since March last
year. The release and a chart are here.

How do you feel about a No. 15 rank? Other thoughts?

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