The city of Fort Smith is atop a latest ranking of the economic performance of Arkansas cities.
The Arkansas Tech Business Index tracks retail sales, construction, the housing market and unemployment rates of 16 Arkansas cities.
Ft. Smith beat out Bentonville, which had been atop previous months’ rankings in business activity. Mark Fusaro is an economist with Arkansas Tech and compiles the business index. He says Ft. Smith’s retail sales have always been strong.
“Relative to their population they have pretty good sales. They have people coming in from Oklahoma, people coming in from other parts of other nearby counties, and so, their retail sales have always been very high relative to their metro population,” Fusaro said. “What the difference with Ft. Smith was this time was the construction permits.”
Four other northwest Arkansas cities, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers were also high in the economic rankings. Conway was the highest ranked city in the central part of the state.