FAU National Index Shows Hispanics Optimistic About Economy
Just over half of Hispanics (51.7 percent) said now is a good time to buy a house, and 58.5 percent said it is a good time to buy a vehicle.
Hispanics in the U.S. are more optimistic about their financial situation as well as the U.S. economy as a whole but their dissatisfaction for U.S. President Donald Trump continues to increase, according to a new national consumer sentiment index conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.
The quarterly Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI), taken from April to June, stands at 94.8, up nearly five points from the first quarter of 2017, when FAU conducted its last quarterly survey of Hispanic consumers nationally.
Increased optimism on their personal finances for the upcoming year and the economic outlook of the county in the next five years may account for the bounce. More than three-quarters of Hispanics (78 percent) said they expect to be financially better off over the next year compared to 60 percent in the previous quarter. When asked about the economic outlook of the country in the next five years, 51 percent said they expect good times, up eight percentage points from the previous quarter.
Similar to last quarter, 67 percent of Hispanics said they are better off financially today than they were one year ago. Overall, 54 percent of Hispanics said business conditions in the U.S. will see good times financially in the next 12 months and 51 percent expect good times financially for the next five years, a seven-point improvement over the April index.
Just over half of Hispanics (51.7 percent) said now is a good time to buy a house, and 58.5 percent said it is a good time to buy a vehicle. The cost of living is having an impact as 56.3 percent said it has gone up while only 21.2 percent said it has gone down. Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanics (58 percent) expect the price of gas to go up during the next three months, while 12 percent think it will go down. A majority of Hispanics (52 percent) expects interest rates to go up, while 18 percent said they think they will go down.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s approval rating among Hispanics fell six points from 39 to 33 percent. Of those surveyed, 23 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 40 percent Democrats, 19 percent Independents and 18 percent were not registered.
“Although Hispanics’ approval rating of Mr. Trump has dropped compared to the previous quarter, they are optimistic about their financial situation and the economic outlook of the country in the next five years,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI.
The survey was conducted nationally April 1-June 30. The random polling sample consisted of 1,000 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The survey was administered using both landlines via IVR data collection (14 percent) and online data collection (86 percent) using Survey Sampling International. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the national distribution of the Hispanic population by region, education, gender, income and age according to latest American Community Survey data.