By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
Vatterott College's Salon Cosmetique is offering birthday party packages for girls age 5 to 12 at a bargain price of $10 a guest.
"Birthday parties at Salon Cosmetique are perfect for children who love to play dress-up or get into their mother's makeup. It's a fun, creative way to celebrate and make each birthday guest feel special," said Tom Lockett, campus director at Vatterott College in Quincy. "Our students gain essential hands-on experience, and parents get an incredible value for their child's special day."
The "mini salons" for kids offer nail polish treatment and hairstyle "updo's," and an event room lets them celebrate post-pampering with cake and presents.
Vatterott students who staff Salon Cosmetique work under the supervision of licensed instructors.
Illinois continues to grow, but the University of Illinois Flash Index indicates that growth has slowed to a crawl.
The Flash Index reading was 106.5 in August, steady from a month earlier and the highest index reading since July 2007, when it hit 106.7 before the 2007-09 recession began.
"It should be remembered that this does not mean the Illinois economy is not growing, just that growth is not accelerating," said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the Flash Index each month for the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs. A Flash Index level of 100 marks the dividing line between economic growth and decline.
"Recently released national data indicate that the national economy in the second quarter of 2013 grew at a faster pace than originally reported," Giertz said, referencing the growth rate adjustment to 2.5 percent from 1.7 percent for the quarter.
"This is consistent with the relatively strong performance of the Flash Index during this period. But we also note again that the growth of the Illinois economy has made little impact on the unemployment rate, which increased slightly in July to 9.2 percent."
Two components of the index -- individual income and sales tax receipts -- were up moderately in real terms in August compared with the same period a year earlier. Corporate tax receipts were down by a small amount.
Spending on U.S. construction projects rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $900.8 billion in July. That is the highest level of spending since June 2009. ... Last weekend's Labor Day travel hit its highest level since the onset of the recession, with 34.1 million U.S. residents hitting the road, a 4 percent increase compared with 2012. ... About 3.5 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in some of the nation's largest cities will be able to watch CBS broadcasts again. A monthlong blackout ended last week after the companies agreed on an undisclosed payment arrangement for CBS retransmissions.
Manufacturing expanded in the United States during in to the highest level in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management Index rose to 55.7. Readings higher than 50 indicate growth.
September has been a bad month for stocks, based on historical records. Analysts say that trend probably won't change this month, with the debate about U.S. military action in Syria, a Federal Reserve Board meeting and needed congressional action by the end of the budget year all making the market nervous.
Spain reports that 4.7 million residents are unemployed, resulting in a 26.3 percent jobless rate. Greece still reports the eurozone's highest unemployment rate at 27.6 percent.
"It was not because we lacked skills and knowledge that we found ourselves in these unfortunate situations. It was because we acted wrongly and we displayed wrong conduct."
-- Patrick Odier, chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, at a recent news conference where bankers formally apologized for helping tax cheats evade detection before reforms took effect this year