Arkansas’ economy remains solid and has seen some growth in recent months, according to a new report from the Institute for Supply Management, formerly the Purchasing Management Association, which began formally surveying its membership in 1931 to gauge business conditions.


The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group uses the same methodology as the national survey to consult supply managers and business leaders. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss oversees the report. The overall index ranges between 0 and 100. Growth neutral is 50, and a figure greater than 50 indicates an expanding economy over the next three to six months.


The October overall index plummeted to a still-solid 55.4 from September’s 67.3. Components of the index were new orders at 57.4, production or sales at 63.4, delivery lead time at 52.7, inventories at 52.1 and employment at 51.1.


“Over the past 12 months, Arkansas increased manufacturing employment by 3 percent, or approximately 4,700 manufacturing jobs,” Goss said. “Slight job losses for durable-goods producers were more than offset by gains for nondurable-goods manufacturers.”