301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

1.4.24 – Fayetteville, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA)

A report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows a slow growth in wages and GDP for Arkansas. The report showed a GDP increase of 0.7% and a personal income growth of 0% in the third quarter of 2023.

Mervin Jebaraj is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas.

He says the numbers are largely driven by dramatic declines in the agriculture industry.

“If you took out the impact of the agriculture industry in Arkansas — which is significant — but if you took that out of this particular GDP metric, you would see that we have both personal income growth and GDP growth,” Jebaraj said.

Jebaraj says the agriculture industry has seen a lot of ups and downs since the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you pair trucking capacity with the lower prices of corn, soy and poultry due to oversupply, Jebaraj says the numbers shouldn’t be surprising