Business school professors think Trump will be good for economy

Al Niemi, dean of SMU's Cox School of Business, and Bruce Bullock, an economist in the Cox School, both predicted Trump could be good for the economy.

The U.S. economy, and Texas’ too, is likely to get a boost from the incoming Trump administration, presuming that the president-elect carries through on plans to cut taxes, reduce regulation and boost spending on infrastructure.

That’s the view of professors at SMU’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, who met with reporters on Friday to offer their thoughts on the economic outlook for 2017.

The school’s dean, Al Niemi, said he is bullish and predicted that growth of gross domestic product, which has averaged 2 percent in the slowest recovery since the Great Depression, could approach 3 percent next year.

“I think the economy will grow more in 2017 than it has since 2007,” said Niemi, who has announced he will step down as dean next year after 20 years. While Trump won the Electoral College but not the popular vote, he said, “There is a mandate in this country for creating jobs.”

Niemi views Trumponomics as classically Keynesian, combining tax cuts with government spending to create jobs. While protectionist measures on trade with Mexico and China would be a hindrance, he thinks Trump has a slimmer chance of renegotiating NAFTA than getting a stimulus bill through Congress.

In Texas, corporate relocations should continue to bring new jobs and residents to North Texas, which is a hot market for commercial real estate investment. And the oil industry should continue to rebound from its recent slump, with growing production in the Permian Basin in West Texas leading the way, said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute. However, advances in technology are allowing producers to use fewer rigs to pump oil, meaning fewer jobs added than in the past, he said.

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