ATBI Releases April 2015 Data

Conway made the biggest move forward on the Arkansas Tech Business Index following the compilation of data for the month of April 2015.

The ATBI rating for Conway increased 1.73 points to 105.42, placing it just below front-runner Fort Smith and its rating of 105.96.

The Arkansas Tech Business Index is a project created by the Arkansas Tech University College of Business and sponsored by Arvest Bank. It 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.

The numbers for April 2015 mark the 12th time in the last 16 months that Fort Smith has led the ATBI, but its position atop the index was challenged because of a boom in new home construction in Conway.

“Construction permits increased from a reading of 97 in March to almost 115 in April for Conway,” said Dr. Marc Fusaro, associate professor of economics at Arkansas Tech and developer of the Arkansas Tech Business Index. “This was on the strength of residential construction permits of about $10 million. Commercial construction permits were also pretty high at $4.5 million.”

Fayetteville (3rd, 105.25), Springdale (4th, 103.99), Bentonville (5th, 103.54), Hot Springs (6th, 101.54) and Jonesboro (7th, 100.53) also have an ATBI rating greater than 100 for April 2015.

Rogers (8th, 99.65), Mountain Home (9th, 99.40), Van Buren (10th, 99.39), Russellville (11th, 99.02), Searcy (12th, 98.12), Texarkana (13th, 96.35), El Dorado (14th, 95.76), West Memphis (15th, 95.64), North Little Rock (16th, 95.37), Little Rock (17th, 94.74) and Pine Bluff (18th, 93.03) complete the April 2015 ATBI.

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

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