The new year means new hopes for the Arkansas economy. A local study says the state`s economic recovery is keeping pace with the nation`s. The UALR Institute for Economic Advancement forecasts the state will gain about 18,000 jobs in 2005. Many of them will be in transportation and warehousing, business services and health services. While the unemployment rate will remain flat at 5.5%, the wage salary income will grow at a rate of 5%. "We`re playing a part in that much bigger picture of national economic recovery and expansion, plus an international component with the improved outlook for exports," explained the institute`s director, Dr. John Shelnutt. The report expects health care and financial services, which have shown no decline will continue to grow. While the housing sector is expected to weaken and home sales could decrease this year, as well.