Metroplan has released "Metro Trends: Economic Review and Outlook" (PDF), which takes a look back at the economic trends of the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway MSA and ahead to what we can expect in 2013.
The story of 2012 appears to be -- what else? -- slooow recovery. The report begins: "Local economic indicators remain tepid, but the pace of recovery may be quickening." The report takes a look at per capita income trends, opportunities for the MSA in energy and the year in manufacturing, construction and housing. There's even a snapshot of growth in Little Rock's South Main neighborhood, or SoMa.
As for 2013:
If U.S. recovery continues strengthening, the local region’s underlying cost-competitiveness and quality-of-life advantages should enable a stronger local performance in 2013. If federal fiscal problems and global worries lead to a downturn in coming months, Central Arkansas’ traditional economic diversity will at least buffer the blow over the short term.
Also: Arkansas trail enthusiasts will be interested in this passage:
There is growing evidence that the region’s expanding trail system is an economic incubator. The trails of course provide lifestyle advantages for the region as a whole, but there are also cases of successful housing and business location decisions that have been based partly on trail accessibility.
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