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.

30th Annual Arkansas Business Forecast Luncheon

2024 Business Forecast  Header

Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, January 26, 2024 at the Rogers Convention Center in the World Trade Center District in Rogers.

Of note: This year’s luncheon will be 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.

The cost of the luncheon program is $90 for an individual and $900 for a table of 10. Preregistration by Friday, January 19, is required. Reservations can be made for the luncheon at, registering above or by calling 479-575-4151. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.


2024 Arkansas Annual Business Forecast Video

2024 Business Forecast Presentations


2024 Business Forecast Speakers

The 30th edition of the Arkansas Business Forecast Luncheon will feature the following lineup of speakers:

.Moderator: Curtis Barnett, president and chief executive officer, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Global Forecaster: Gregory Daco, chief economist, EY

Domestic Forecaster: Ellen Zenter, chief U.S. economist, Morgan Stanley

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

View speakers detailed biographies at  Arkansas Business Forecast.

Individual tickets are $90 each. Tables are $900 for a table of 10. Pre-registration is required. Reservations can be made by registering online or by calling 479-575-4151. For sponsorships opportunities,  please call our office or complete the Business Forecast Sponsor Packet. Thank you to our 2024 Business Forecast Sponsors.

Thank you to 2024 Business Forecast Luncheon Sponsors!

 2024 BF logos

Details about sponsorship opportunities are available here.

For more information contact

Center for Business and Economic Research
Sam M. Walton College of Business
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
PH: (479) 575-4151

State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report release
and Business Analysis Luncheon Set for Oct. 25

Presentation Slides

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 annual State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report on Oct. 25 at 11:30 a.m. at the Fayetteville Town Center 15 W Mountain Street. This highly anticipated event will provide valuable insights on the economic climate and future growth prospects for the Northwest Arkansas region. 

First published in 2011, the State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report is amoung the best measures of the area’s economy, comparing peers such as Madison, Wis.; Raleigh, N.C.; Provo-Orem, Utah; Des Moines, Iowa; and Austin, Texas.

2023 QBA_State of the Region Report

Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on October 25, 2023 at the Fayetteville Town Center, 15 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Networking and registration will begin at 11:00 a.m.

Guest Speaker: Donna Morris, is executive vice president and chief people officer for Walmart, Inc. Morris is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talent for more than 2 million associates around the world. 

Why it matters: Mervin Jebaraj, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research  will share economic data from the Center’s Quarterly Business Analysis.

  • “The program will highlight Northwest Arkansas’ progress on a number of key metrics and highlights areas where the region still faces challenges” Jebaraj said.“We will also discuss projections for the national and regional economy as it recovers from a period of high inflation and when we might see another recession.”

To register, please call 479-575-4151. The cost of the luncheon is $50 for an individual or $500 for a table of 10. Preregistration is required by Friday, October 20, 2023.

 State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report



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.

Donna Morris joined Walmart in 2020 from Adobe, where she led all aspects of the company’s human resources, real estate and security operations. Morris also helped drive a number of workplace-friendly initiatives at Adobe, including expanding its family leave policy and simplifying standard HR processes.

For further questions and inquiries please contact




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