Arkansas Economy

Arkansas has received $49.6 million in the latest annual payment from the tobacco industry as part of a 1998 settlement of a lawsuit against tobacco companies.
 
State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Wednesday that the money supports several programs, including tobacco cessation efforts, public health programs for minorities and older Arkansans, increased Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and increased hospital benefits for some Medicaid beneficiaries and for medical and agricultural research.
 

New Hampshire-based SIG SAUER has announced plans to move an ammunition plant to Arkansas from Kentucky.

The company said Wednesday in a news release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that its Elite Performance Ammunition plant will move to Jacksonville and create about 50 jobs when it opens by the end of the year. The plant is currently located in Eubank, Kentucky.

Arkansas finance officials say strong individual income tax collections and lower than expected tax refunds kept the state's revenue in April above both the forecast and the same month last year.

The Department of Finance and Administration reported Tuesday that the state's net available revenue in April totaled $661.3 million. That's $37.2 million above April 2015 and $37.1 million above forecast.

The net available revenue for the fiscal year to date totals nearly $4.9 billion, which is $110 million above forecast.

rice fields
Mickey Liaw / Flickr.com

Business growth in Arkansas lost a step in April as a leading economic indicator for the region shows the state’s manufacturing, farming and energy sectors continue to shed jobs and affect overall economic expansion.

Arkansas Capitol
Ron Breeding / KUAR News

Legislation outlining Arkansas' $5.3 billion budget for the coming year calls for funding increases for the state's Department of Human Services and public schools, with $13.8 million in money being set aside for the rainy day fund.

Legislative leaders on Sunday released the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, the budget bill that calls for a $142.7 million increase in spending. House Speaker Jeremy Gillam says he expects his chamber to take up the legislation on Wednesday with lawmakers hoping to wrap up the fiscal session this week.

www.sunpapergroup.com/

The investment in south Arkansas by one of China's largest private companies, Sun Paper, is considered a win by state economic development officials. However, some have concerns about the implications of the country's manufacturing practices and what it will mean for workers at the new bio-products mill near Arkadelphia. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announcing a $1 billion investment by a Chinese company in a Clark County paper mill.
Arkansas Business

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the Chinese company Sun Paper will build a $1 billion bio-products mill in southern Arkansas, creating 250 jobs. Hutchinson was joined by Sun Paper chairman and founder Hongxin Li in making the announcement Tuesday.

Most key economic indicators in Arkansas’ three largest metro areas – central Arkansas, Fort Smith metro, and Northwest Arkansas – were moving in the right direction during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to The Compass Report.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, economic conditions were better in Central Arkansas, were significantly better in Northwest Arkansas, and showed signs of improvement in the Fort Smith metro.

greencarreports.com

A service that tracks gasoline prices says the per-gallon cost of a gallon in Arkansas has risen eight cents in the past week, to an average of $1.90.

In Little Rock, the price averaged $1.89. That price is down 34 cents from a year ago and down nearly two dollars from five years ago.

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods Inc. has announced a proposal to build a new processing facility near its existing poultry plant in Green Forest.

The Springdale-based company says the $136 million project is contingent in part on the approval of incentives from Carroll County and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The company says the project would create about 85 jobs once it's fully operational.

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