LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On August 16, Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan reported to the State Board of Finance that the Arkansas state treasury earned $69.9 million during fiscal year 2022, which ran from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

“That’s nearly double the $35.4 million we earned in FY 21 and brings the total amount receipted under my administration to $498.9 million,” Milligan said. Earnings for the 4th quarter, which ran from April through June, were $24.8 million.

While the U.S. economy remained volatile and inflation continued to rise during the 4th quarter, the treasury saw positive growth in its portfolio, particularly in short-term investments such as money market funds, demand accounts and commercial paper, according to a press release from the treasury.

These funds rely heavily on the federal interest rate. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by
0.5% in May and another 0.75% in June. The rate increases also affected the treasury’s long-term investments such as mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries, Milligan said.

“While these rate increases are hitting Americans’ pocketbooks – from car and mortgage loans to credit cards – the Treasury’s investment portfolio is not feeling that impact,” Milligan said, adding that the state treasury operates solely within the fixed-income market. “As interest rates rise, it allows us to reinvest principal from previously-purchased securities at a higher yield. So we’re feeling a more positive impact.”

Milligan also reported that the state’s investment portfolio has more than doubled in size during his administration.

“When I first came into office in 2015, the state’s investment portfolio was roughly $3 and a half billion dollars. It has now grown to between $6 and $7 billion dollars, and because of the influx of federal covid relief funds, recently touched $9 billion,” he said. Milligan attributed the growth of the portfolio to increased sales tax revenues, federal monies and a “dramatic increase” in investment receipts during his tenure as treasurer.

“Through sound leadership of my investment team, an increase in investment returns, and the state’s growing economy, we’ve doubled the size of the portfolio during my administration,” he said. “We’ve been able to receipt almost half-a-billion dollars back to the state from our investment returns, which amounts to real money being put into the state’s coffers that helps finance important endeavors such as the state’s Highway Fund and the Catastrophic Reserve Fund.”