Compass Reports

The Compass Report is the only independent economic analysis of Arkansas’ top three metro areas (Central Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith region). The report measures four leading and four current economic indicators to provide a grade for a regional economy.

A key factor in understanding The Compass is in understanding the “grading” approach used to measure the current and leading economic indicators. The strategy is to place the most recent data in historical context. Average values for the percent change over the referenced time period were calculated, as were standard deviations for each measure.

View the Fort Smith Region report
View the Central Arkansas report
View the Northwest Arkansas report


The 2013 fourth quarter economy in the central Arkansas area received a grade of C- meaning that economic conditions declined slightly compared to the fourth quarter of 2012 and were unchanged from the previous three quarters of the year, according to The Compass Report.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:15pm

Continued gains in employment and sales tax collections helped the Northwest Arkansas economy finish 2013 with a strong fourth quarter, according to The Compass Report.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:05pm

The Compass Report for the fourth quarter of 2013 shows that small but broad based gains in key metrics has resulted in the Fort Smith regional economy finishing out 2013 with two consecutive positive quarters.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:58pm

The 5th annual The Compass Conference will be held April 17 and will feature an update on economic conditions – based on data from The Compass Report – in the Fort Smith metro area during 2013 and future opportunities and challenges of the regional medical sector.

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 3:28pm

The 2013 third quarter economy in the central Arkansas area received a grade of C- meaning that economic conditions declined slightly compared to the third quarter of 2012 but were unchanged the first and second quarters of 2013, according to The Compass Report.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 2:35pm

Economic conditions for the Northwest Arkansas economy were stronger in the third quarter than in the previous three quarters, with employment and building permit numbers leading the way.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 2:30pm

Slight but continued improvements in economic trends for the Fort Smith region during the third quarter of 2013 has resulted in the best quarterly grade for the economy since the first quarter 2009 launch of The Compass Report.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 2:22pm

The 2013 second quarter economy in the central Arkansas area received a grade of C- meaning that economic conditions declined slightly compared to the second quarter of 2012 but were unchanged the first quarter of 2013, according to The Compass Report.

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 2:34pm

Economic conditions remained positive in Northwest Arkansas during the second quarter of 2013, and are stronger than the second quarter of 2012 thanks to continued gains in employment and building permit values.

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 2:20pm

Improvements in the number of employed and gains in building permit values in the Fort Smith region helped boost the economy in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of the year and the second quarter of 2012.

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 1:29pm

The combination of a 0.23% gain in the Fort Smith regional workforce number and a 5.3% increase in the number of area unemployed pushed the regional jobless rate higher in May.

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 1:36pm

First quarter 2013 economic conditions in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway (central Arkansas) metro area were down slightly compared to the first quarter of 2012.

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 10:18am

Economic conditions in Northwest Arkansas have been strong for several quarters, and the first quarter 2013 economy improved compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 10:12am

The Fort Smith regional economy ended 2012 on a positive note, but first quarter 2013 conditions did not continue the trend, according to data collected for The Compass Report.

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 10:05am

The value of building permits in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren were a combined $34.602 million in May. The figure is up significantly from last month, with $18.35 million in permits issued, and May 2012, with $13.577 million. The total value is up 154.86% over last year.

Mon, 06/17/2013 - 4:36pm

With not as many service points as other regional airports, the severe weather during May was a cause in Fort Smith Regional Airport traffic declining almost 3% in May. Traffic in to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) was up over 4% in May.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 2:26pm

Fourth quarter 2012 economic conditions in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway (central Arkansas) metro area were down slightly compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The quarter saw gains in building permit numbers and stability with sales tax collections.

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 11:30am

Economic conditions in Northwest Arkansas remain robust, with regional growth similar to that of the fourth quarter of 2011, but slightly less than in the third quarter of 2012, according to The Compass Report.

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 11:23am

From a purely analytical standpoint, the Fort Smith region ended 2012 on a positive note.

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 11:16am

A review of economic conditions and the potential to move closer to U.S. energy independence with more use of natural gas are the planned highlights of the 2013 The Compass Conference.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 9:00pm

Pages

Subscribe to Compass Reports