Latest Data from the Arkansas Tech Business Index Now Available

Thursday, March 12 at 07:05 AM
Category: Arvest News

The Arkansas Tech Business Index found Northwest Arkansas cities rated better than the state average for 2014 and Fort Smith, Ark., rose to the top. 

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Fort Smith had the most robust economy in 2014  while four Northwest Arkansas cities’ economies were rated as doing better than the state average since 2009, as tracked by the Arkansas Tech Business Index, a project created by the Arkansas Tech University College of Business and sponsored by Arvest Bank. 

Fort Smith finished with an ATBI rating of 106.67 for calendar year 2014.

Rodney Shepard, president and CEO of Arvest in the Fort Smith Region, said, “It is great to see the city of Fort Smith consistently ranking better than the state average. This city has been a growth area for the state even during the economic downturn and this rating means that our community remains a strong place for business development.”

The ATBI is a comprehensive measure that provides a snapshot of economic activity around the Natural State. It encompasses a labor index, housing market index, construction index and retail sales index. 

The index is based around 100. A city rating above 100 indicates that the city is currently doing better than the state average from 2009 to the present.

Ten of the 17 municipalities on the ATBI had a rating of greater than 100 for calendar year 2014. Joining Fort Smith in that category were Fayetteville (105.23), Bentonville (104.56), Springdale (104.16), Van Buren (103.45), Rogers (103.44), Conway (103.09), Searcy (102.58), Jonesboro (101.50) and Hot Springs (100.78). 

Lisa Ray, president and CEO of Arvest in Springdale, said, “This area has been a growth area for the state despite the economic downturn, and we look forward to continuing to support exciting economic expansion opportunities by meeting our customers’ financial needs.”

ATBI 2014 ratings for other cities included Russellville (98.12), Little Rock (97.40), North Little Rock (95.75), El Dorado (94.75), West Memphis (94.70), Texarkana (94.57) and Pine Bluff (92.58). 

Fort Smith also had the highest ATBI rating for fourth quarter 2014 and December 2014. It marked the eighth month in 2014 that Fort Smith led the index. Bentonville and Fayetteville, with two months each, were the only other cities to finish a 2014 month at the top of the index. 

Visit www.atu.edu/atbi* to access the data used to develop the ATBI. 

 Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas
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