Report: Local Economy Showing Signs Of Improvement [Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.]
(Times Record (Fort Smith, AR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 07--The regional economy showed more signs of improvement in the second quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, according to a report released Friday by the Center for Business Research and Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
The most recent Fort Smith Regional Economic Outlook Report, which is sponsored by Arvest Bank, provides a summary analysis of the regional economy and consumer sentiment for the second quarter. It covers the five-county, Fort Smith Metropolitan Statistical Area, with analysis of energy and mining sectors.
"The overall jobs picture for the area economy has continued to improve, based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but retail sales data reveal weaker consumption in recent months," Center Director Kermit Kuehn wrote.
Auto sales continued to show solid growth over 2012, and residential construction and home sales were positive for the quarter, the report says.
This quarter's report focused on the performance and prospects for the energy and mining cluster, a group of companies identified as important to the regional economy based on earlier research by the center.
"We were interested in how the growth in oil and gas production observed in national data will affect jobs in the regional economy going forward," Kuehn added. "The national trend will have a limited impact on the regional jobs picture going forward, though regional coal production has some upside potential."
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