University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Center for Business & Economic Research

Located in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, the Center provides applied economic and business research to federal, state, and local government, as well as to businesses currently operating or those that desire to operate in the state of Arkansas. The Center further works to improve the economic opportunities of all Arkansans by conducting policy research in the public interest.


2023 Business Forecast  Header


Each year, the Center for Business & Economic Research hosts the Arkansas Business Forecast Luncheon, bringing together national and international experts to discuss the economic outlook for Arkansas, the nation and the world. The luncheon typically draws more than 1,200 business and community leaders. Make plans to attend the 29th Arkansas Business Forecast Luncheon on January 27, 2023!

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, January 27, 2023 at the Rogers Convention Center in the World Trade Center District in Rogers. For questions or other registration options,  please call 479-575-4151.

This year’s luncheon was preceded by a networking event for the speakers and attendees. All luncheon ticket holders are welcome to participate in the networking event with their fellow attendees from 10:45 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. in the Rogers Convention Center.

Arkansas Business Forecast Program Presentation

Registration is closed.


BF Speakers 2023


Panelists for the luncheon this year are:

Moderator: Todd Simmons, chief executive officer and co-vice chair, Simmons Foods.

Global Forecaster: Julia Coronado, founder of the economic research firm MacroPolicy Perspectives and a clinical associate professor at the McCombs School of Business.

Domestic Forecaster:  John List, Kenneth C. Griffin distinguished service professor in economics at the University of Chicago, and chief economist at Walmart.

State and Regional Forecaster: Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research.

Detailed biographies of the speakers are HERE. View 2023 Business Forecast Program Slides from the Arkansas Business Forecast here.



Thank you Arkansas Business Forecast 2023 Sponsors!

We are extremely grateful to our Business Forecast Sponsors.
Please call the Center for Business and Economic Research for additional sponsorship opportunities at 479-575-4151. Additional sponsor opporutnities for 2023 are available in the Business Forecast Sponsor Form.

2023 Busines Forecast Sponsor Logo


State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report Release and Business Analysis Luncheon Set for Oct. 27

2022 State of the Region Report

The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Northwest Arkansas Council, will release the yearly State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report on Oct. 27. First published in 2011, the report measures the area’s economy, comparing to peer regions such as Madison, Wis.; Raleigh, N.C.; Provo-Orem, Utah; Des Moines, Iowa; and Austin, Texas.

The presentation will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Fayetteville, 1325 North Palak Drive. Networking and registration will begin at 11:00 a.m.  

Mervin Jebaraj presentation

Mervin Jebaraj

Along with updates presented by the Northwest Arkansas Council, Mervin Jebaraj, the center’s director, will discuss new economic data for the nation, Arkansas, and Northwest Arkansas, the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy, inflation, lingering effects of the pandemic, Russian invasion of Ukraine and future possible effects of the Inflation Reduction Act recently passed by Congress.


Rick Cole _Mervin Jebaraj

Registration and networking will begin at 11:00 a.m. where attendees will be able to network with other Northwest Arkansas community leaders before the program begins at 11:30 a.m. The program lasts for approximately 75 minutes, including time for questions and answers.


Registraton is closed


The cost of the luncheon program is $50. To register using a credit card, please use the register to attend button, above. For other registration options, please call 479-575-4151. Preregistration by Friday, October 21, is required. We hope to see you on Thursday, October 27 for an informative event.

The Quarterly Business Analysis program builds networks of leaders from business, academic and governmental sectors in the region while addressing business highlights of the previous quarter, key economic trends and projections and immediate and long-term issues facing the regional and state economy.



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