The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan statistical area’s economy ranked the fourth strongest in the state and 13th in the nation, according to a recent report by a nonprofit organization.

The Policom Corporation, a nonpartisan think tank that analyzes economies around the nation, released its 2014 Economic Strength Ranking of MSAs in the United States last week.

“Anytime you get a rating that’s specific to the strength of your economy, it sends a powerful message into the marketplace. That (message) is that this economy is very robust and growing in a very strong fashion,” said John Crutchfield, Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce president. “That really is the kind of place where investors want to invest their money.”

The organization uses a three-part method that compares data from 1993 to the present to determine an area’s economic strength. Policom uses the data to calculate the rate, consistency and stability of an area’s growth.

Policom’s formula includes three factors: quality of economy based on earning and standard of living; economic behaviors focused on the flow of money in regard to construction, retail and small business industries; and negative sectors that may reflect an area’s economic deficiencies.

“It’s a very strong third-party endorsement,” Crutchfield said. “I think the signal that it sends to people who are in business here is that they are in a very vibrant, growing economy and they made a wise decision. The future is pretty bright for them.”

The area has consistently ranked high in the nation, but it fell from eighth in 2013 to 13th this year.

Leading retailers, and in some cases, service companies will use this designation in planning expansions for new stores and restaurants.

Although local sales tax revenues have fallen over the past several months, Crutchfield said that likely doesn’t play much of a factor, if any, in the economy’s rating.

He said the study gauges the numbers over long periods of time, so a decrease over a few months doesn’t have a significant impact.

A call to the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce for this story was not returned.

There are 381 MSAs in the United States. Texas economies ranking higher than the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA are Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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