Metroplan's Annual Report Looks Back at 2012, Ahead at 2013

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.