Killeen economy among nation’s best

By: Rebecca Rose, Killeen Daily Herald

The Killeen area’s economy ranks among the nation’s strongest, according to a new study. Policom, an economic research firm that specializes in analyzing local and state economies, ranked the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area 30th out of 366 MSAs in its annual Economic Strength Rankings study. The ranking is an increase from 2011, when the local MSA ranked 60th.

William H. Fruth, president of Policom, said the rankings reflect areas that have the best economic foundation. “The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time,” said Fruth. “While most communities have slowed or declined during this recession, the strongest areas have been able to weather the storm.” Data stretching from 1991 to 2010 was used for the study, which measures 23 economic factors. Specific formulas determine how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time.

Ranked MSAs must contain at least one city with 50,000 people and are typically composed of more than one county. Killeen ranked fifth out of 25 MSAs ranked in Texas, placing it below the state’s largest metropolitan areas — Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA has steadily climbed on Policom’s list since 2006. The region was ranked 169th in 2006, 143rd in 2007, 125th in 2008, 122nd in 2009, 89th in 2010 and 60th in 2011.

John Crutchfield, president and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, said the ranking will have a positive impact on the region. “Anytime you get a positive endorsement from an independent third party, especially one with the economic credibility of Policom, it makes a difference in the market place,” said Crutchfield. Policom, headquartered in Palm City, Fla., has conducted the national study since 1997. From the research, the firm determines if an economy is growing or declining, what is causing the change, and offers ideas and solutions for improvement.

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