Trends & Analysis

Fort Smith Retakes Top Spot in Arkansas Tech Business Index

Fort Smith Retakes Top Spot in Arkansas Tech Business Index

The index is a comprehensive measure that provides a snapshot of economic activity in Arkansas cities. It encompasses a labor index, housing market index, construction index and retail sales index.
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US Service Firms Grew at Slightly Slower Pace Last Month

U.S. service firms expanded at a slightly slower yet still healthy pace in March, an encouraging sign after multiple reports last week pointed to a slowing economy.
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Pace of U.S. Hiring Weakens with Just 126k Jobs Added in March

The weakening U.S. economy spilled into the job market in March as employers added only 126,000 jobs, snapping a streak of 12 consecutive months of job gains above 200,000.
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US New-Home Sales Surge in February

Sales of new U.S. homes in February climbed to their fastest pace in seven years, as an otherwise dormant housing market showed fresh signs of life.
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Arkansas Session Tests Hutchinson for Future Fights (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson appears unlikely to face any insurmountable obstacles in his push for incentives to lure a defense project to the state, or any of the other major items on his agenda when lawmakers convene this week. read more >

Special Session Puts Focus Back on Jobs (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

An effort to lure a major defense contract to south Arkansas is offering Gov. Asa Hutchinson a chance to put the focus back on jobs weeks after a legislative session that ended with an unexpected fight over a religious objections law. But the special session planned later this month could also renew the debate over how much a Republican-controlled Legislature is willing to shed its dislike of government spending in exchange for the promise of a major economic development project. read more >

TPA Promotes Job Creation (Randy Zook Commentary)

Congress faces an important choice in the months ahead as it considers a bill to renew Trade Promotion Authority. TPA is vital because economic growth and job creation at home depend on our ability to sell American goods and services to the 95 percent of the world's customers living outside the United States. read more >

Central Arkansas Retail Space Vacancy Rate Rises

The vacancy rate for retail space in central Arkansas continued to inch up during first-quarter 2015, according to the Central Arkansas Commercial Data Exchange. It rose to 6.3 percent compared with 5.8 percent in fourth-quarter 2014 and 5.2 percent in the year-earlier quarter, first-quarter 2014. read more >

US Retail Sales Flat-Line in April

U.S. shoppers kept their spending in check in April, as modest wage growth over the past year keeps family budgets tight. read more >

Mike Huckabee's Influence Seen in State's Politics (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

Touting himself as an outsider as he launched his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is relying on many of the same themes that helped him first get elected 22 years ago. read more >

Education & Business (Editorial)

As regular readers know, Arkansas Business typically takes a closer look at one industry or topic each week, and this week that “spotlight” topic is education. More specifically, it is “Education & Business,” and readers also know that the two are inseparable. Sometimes stories about education and business seem inseparable as well. read more >

Don't Believe the Hype (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

What we've got here, in the immortal words of Strother Martin, is failure to communicate. When numbers get big, they sound impressive — a billion! a trillion! — but without context, they lose all meaning. read more >