FAU Poll Says Hispanic Consumers More Optimistic About Current Conditions but Concerned About Future Economy

Hispanic consumers are more optimistic about current economic conditions but have concerns about the future, according to the latest survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.

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By james-hellegaard | 6/16/2015

Hispanic consumers are more optimistic about current economic conditions but have concerns about the future, according to the latest survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.

Index of Consumer Sentiment

May 2015

April 2015

Difference in points

Overall

89.77

91.59

-1.82

Current Conditions

92.92

91.60

1.32

Consumer Expectations

87.74

91.58

-3.84

 

Consumer sentiment among Hispanics fell by two points in May to 89.77, the lowest since January, with four of the Index’s five components falling, most notably expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years, which declined 12 points. Among those who are increasingly pessimistic about the future economy are individuals 55 and over (59 percent) and college graduates (56.2 percent).

“A plausible explanation can be that Hispanics see the pace of growth in the country as sluggish and they don’t anticipate the same rapid growth in the economy as happened last year,” said Monica Escaleras, director of BEPI.

The current conditions index, however, climbed to 92.2 in May, up from 91.6 the previous month. The gain was fueled by more favorable buying plans among Hispanics for big ticket items such as furniture, refrigerators, ovens or televisions. One group bucking the trend this month is Hispanic males, 50.3 percent of whom are optimistic about economic conditions in the country over the next five years, up three points from April.

While a majority of Hispanics (52 percent) think it’s a good time to buy a home, most (52 percent) said an increase in interest rates would discourage them from doing so.

“Since Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in the country their influence on the economy and housing market can be significant,” Escaleras said. “The demand for housing by Hispanics could stimulate business and financial services within the housing market.”

The survey also shows that 55 percent of Hispanics polled own a home while 36 percent rent. Older Hispanics (72 percent of those 55 and over) are more likely to own a home than those 18-34 (40 percent).

Nearly three in 10 Hispanics plan on purchasing a car in the next six months, with younger Hispanics (18-34) leading the way at 43 percent.

The survey was conducted nationally from May 1 through May 31. The polling sample consisted of 500 Hispanics with a margin of error of +/- 4.33 percent and a 95 percent confidence level.

For more information, visit www.business.fau.edu/bepi or contact Monica Escaleras at 561-297-1312 or BEPI@fau.edu

-FAU-

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