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Experts see steady economy in 2017 under Trump

Experts predict stable economy in 2017 under Trump at ASU forecasting event.
December 5, 2016

ASU economic forecaster predicts that Arizona will see more jobs added

Despite a wild and unpredictable campaign season, three top economists predict a stable — and potentially positive — economic outlook for 2017 under Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as president in January.

Unemployment and inflation will likely remain stable, and any policy changes wouldn't have big effects until 2018, according to experts at the annual Economic Forecast Luncheon on Monday, sponsored by the W. P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and JPMorgan Chase and Co.

James Bullard, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, predicted that the most immediate economic changes could be seen with Trump’s promises to deregulate businesses, spend billions on infrastructure and reform taxes.

“If you think there’s been over-regulation of unwarranted regulations, you could see improvements in productivity, but regulation is a vast area that covers many different aspects of how businesses operate,” he said to the 700 people who attended the 53rd annual luncheon in Phoenix.

“The U.S. growthThe U.S. economy is growing at about 2 percent – a figure that Bullard predicts will hold for 2017. rate is low, but it could be influenced by those policy changes.”

But Bullard said that changes in trade agreements or immigration policy would likely take much longer to have an effect on the American economy.

He also said he was not concerned about remarks Trump made during the campaign that called into question the credibility of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy.

“Trump’s transition team has said they’ll respect the Fed, and I take them at their word that ultimately they will endorse the current Fed structure and that we’ll be able to continue to deliver good monetary policy under a new administration,” he said.

Another economic expert predicted that if Trump decreases the corporate tax rate, as he’s promised, it could drastically increase profits — though not right away. Anthony Chan, the chief economist for JP Morgan Chase and Co., said the current corporate tax rate is 35 percent — although the average rate that corporations actually pay is closer to 27 percent.

“If the corporate tax rate is lowered to 15 percent, it has the potential to boost corporate profits by 19 to 20 percent,” he said. “But I’ll be the first to tell you that it won’t happen in 2017.”

Chan also said that Trump’s plan to allow corporations to repatriate profits made abroad could potentially raise $160 billion in revenues, which could pay for his infrastructure plan.

“As investors it’s not our job to say ‘this is good or this is bad.’ It’s our job to set our portfolios to benefit from these things,” he said.

Lee McPheters predicts more jobs for Arizona next year, but he worries about long-term indicators.

The outlook in Arizona is positive for next year — with some ominous long-term economic issues, according to Lee McPheters, research professor of economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business and director of the school's JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center, which specializes in economic forecasts for Arizona and the Western states.

McPhetersMcPheters is editor of the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast and the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast newsletters, published monthly by the center. showed that of five economic indicator forecasts he made a year ago, three were better than predicted. There were 76,000 new jobs, compared with 68,000 predicted. The employment increase was more than expected — 2.9 percent increase in jobs compared with 2.6 percent predicted. And the unemployment rate was better than forecast — 5.2 percent compared with 5.8 percent.

The two indicators that were not better than McPheters predicted were population, which increased by 1.6 percent compared with the forecast 1.7 percent, and single-family housing permits, which increased 10 percent, not the 30 percent he forecast.

“If you look at Arizona’s numbers, we’re pretty certain as we wrap up 2016, we will definitely be in the top 10, and maybe the top 5, nationally for private job creation, and we expect that to continue in 2017,” he said.

Even with the positive projections, Arizona is below the national average in other measures of economic prosperity. The state ranks 42nd in per-capita income and 45th in poverty. The state also ranks last in per-student funding for universities.

“We need to look at policies that propel Arizona to look more like Colorado or our neighbors who have made the transition to using technology to increase income,” he said.


Top photo: James Bullard, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, predicted that the most immediate economic changes could be seen with Trump’s promises to deregulate businesses, spend billions on infrastructure and reform taxes. He spoke at the Economic Forecast Luncheon on Monday, sponsored by the W. P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and JPMorgan Chase and Co. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


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ASU speech clinics help youth communicate with confidence

ASU prof: "Early intervention is key" for children with speech language delays.
ASU speech clinic fills in gaps where in-school speech therapy can be deficient.
December 5, 2016

Programs provide speech therapy for toddlers and elementary school students, often with one-on-one attention

A group of toddlers sits in a circle, singing and passing around maroon and gold pom poms. When the they come around to a shy 2-year-old, everyone sings, “Who are we rooting for?”

He shouts, “Max!” and beams a wide smile as they cheer.

The enthusiasm is in contrast to when he began coming to these sessions a few months ago. Back then, Max’s mother, Kelly Whalen, said she had to sit with him until he worked up the nerve to join the rest of the bunch.

Part of Max’s problem socializing, Whalen said, was difficulty speaking, and the twice weekly song time is part of an ASU program involving grad students who give youngsters one-on-one attention to help them work through speech problems. 

"Early intervention is key to giving children with speech language delays the best chance to become effective communicators," said Pediatric Communications Clinics (PCC) director and clinical supervisor Dawn Greer. "The earlier children are identified and receive services, the better."

The PCC at ASU provides speech therapy for toddlers and preschoolers through the university’s Department of Speech and Hearing Science. Most recently, it was joined by the After School Articulation and Phonology Program, which in the fall began offering similar services for kids from kindergarten through fifth grade.

"The PCC is a great resource for young children with speech sound disorders, but we wanted to reach families with older children as well, so we developed” the program, which goes by ASAP, said Kelly Ingram, whose ASU Speech and Language Clinic administers both ASAP and PCC.    

Each program was designed to fill a void: PCC focuses on early intervention to facilitate children’s communication, language, articulation, motor and social skills — before they begin traditional schooling. ASAP, meanwhile, steps in to bolster in-school speech therapy.

Ingram explained that while in-school speech therapy is a good start, there can be downsides: Children are often pulled out of regular classes and end up missing lessons; The caseloads of in-school speech therapists are often very large, which means kids aren’t getting a lot of individual attention; And the criteria for a child to qualify for speech therapy is based on age, meaning in some cases, children aren’t receiving therapy until the problem has worsened.

“Even if they’re only here for an hour and 15 minutes every week, they’re still getting a lot of practice,” ASAP clinical faculty supervisor Cathy Bacon said. “Probably more than they’re getting all week long in the schools. ASAP provides intense, individualized instruction at a low cost.”

PCC and ASAP also give graduate students in the speech-language pathology master’s program and undergraduate students working toward a speech language pathology assistant certificate hands-on experience under direct supervision of Department of Speech and Hearing Science clinical faculty.

The child participants attend once or twice weekly sessions, depending on need, on a semester-by-semester basis. The sessions range from an hour and 15 minutes to two hours, during which time the children are guided by the ASU graduate and undergraduate students through a series of activities and one-on-one drills.

The type and intensity of the activities vary based on the age group but can include singing, musical instruments, art projects, sensory play, story time, snack and outdoor play. All of the lessons are planned by the ASU students, who also set up individualized road maps for each child that detail specific areas that need work, identify goals and provide weekly progress reports for parents.

“There’s no other way to get this kind of hands-on experience,” said Sarah Shill, a speech and hearing science undergrad with ASAP. She and fellow speech-language pathology students Jessi Johnson, Dominique Vasquez and Andrea Valentin make up the program’s first cohort.

“They work so well together, troubleshooting child behavior during sessions and collaborating on lesson plans,” clinical faculty supervisor Kate Helms Tillery said.

She and Bacon observe each session in an adjacent room where they can see and hear everything that goes on, taking note of what needs work and what’s working well, so they can give the ASU students notes and guidance afterward.

“We have amazing feedback from the professors basically every day,” Valentin said.

Greer also closely observes each PCC session and provides feedback.

The programs are growing. The Department of Speech and Hearing Science is next looking at making their existing summer reading program available during the regular school year.

According to Bacon, these type of outreach programs are “just another way ASU is reaching out to provide services to the community while providing quality training opportunities for students.”

Organizers say the individual attention is key. The ratio of ASU students to children in both PCC and ASAP is presently about 2 to 1. It varies depending on the number of participants, but is never more than one ASU student to every two children.

“You can’t beat that,” Whalen said, adding that her son Max’s progress has been “huge.”

“I wish I had known about this sooner,” she said. “It has just been the absolute perfect situation for him.”


Top photo: ASU undergraduates in the speech language pathologist assistant certificate program Dominique Vasquez (left) and Sarah Shill work with After School Articulation and Phonology child participant Marcella Morales. Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now