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West Memphis makes biggest leap on Tech index

By Ashley Nerbovig

This article was published August 18, 2014 at 10:13 a.m.

arkansas-tech-business-index

Arkansas Tech Business Index

Eleven cities in Arkansas saw a economic increase in May, with West Memphis making the biggest move forward, according to the Arkansas Tech Business Index.

West Memphis increased its economic growth by 2.91 points to 95.31, but is still about five points below the state index rating, which is 100. The values, which reflect economic growth between April and May, are based on an average of economic growth across the state. A city reading above 100 indicates that the city is doing better than the state average from 2009 to the present.

The housing sector of West Memphis was the main factor behind its increase, with the average home sale price rising from $92,000 in April to $138,000 in May, Arkansas Tech University economics professor Marc Fusaro said.

Other cities in the state that saw increases include: Fort Smith, 2.77 point increase to 109.70; Bentonville rose 1.28 points to a rating of 104.19; Springdale added 0.21, rating them at 104.19; Conway boosted their score to 103.14 with a 1.02 increase; Jonesboro and Searcy moved into a position above the state average with a 1.46 point increase, moving them just into the hundreds with a rating of 101.39.

Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Texarkana and Pine Bluff all saw an increase but are still below the state average.

Five cities fell on the index in May.

The index is a measure that provides a snapshot of economic activity around Arkansas. It uses a labor index, housing market index, construction index and retail sales index to determine how each city's economy is doing. The index was created by professors at Arkansas Tech University.

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