FAU Poll: Hispanics Losing Confidence in U.S. Economy
Hispanics are increasingly concerned about their personal finances, leading to a decline in optimism in the U.S. economy during the third quarter, according to a new poll from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index dropped to 74.3 from 78.3 in the second quarter and 92 for the first quarter, the survey found.
Only 44 percent of the 454 respondents said they are better off financially than a year ago, down from 56 percent in the second quarter and 65 percent in the first quarter. In addition, a smaller percentage of respondents are optimistic about their financial futures.
Hispanics also remain troubled over the cost of living, with 81 percent saying costs are going up, compared with 80 percent who said that in the second quarter.
“They are less optimistic about their personal finances because Hispanics spend a greater share of their budgets on items that have seen the most inflation, like used cars, food, gas and housing,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI in the College of Business.
In three other questions used to create the index, respondents were slightly more upbeat compared to the second quarter but not nearly as optimistic as the first quarter.
For example, when asked about business conditions over the next year, 44 percent of respondents said they expect conditions to be good, up from 43 percent in the prior quarter but down from 55 percent in the first quarter.
Compared to the second quarter, a higher percentage of respondents (53 percent) expect good times for the country over the next five years, but that still was down from 61 percent in the first three months of 2022.
Finally, while 40 percent said now is a good time to buy a big-ticket item, 50 percent felt that way in the first quarter. Only 26 percent said it’s a good time to buy a house, but 49 percent felt that way in the first quarter.
In all the questions, Escaleras noted that younger Hispanics generally appeared more optimistic than their older counterparts.
The poll is based on a sampling of Hispanic adults from July 1 to Sept. 30. The margin of error is +/- 4.59 percentage points. The survey was administered using both landlines via IVR data collection and online data collection using Dynata. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the national distribution of the Hispanic population by region, gender, age and income, according to latest American Community Survey data. The polling results and full cross-tabulations can be viewed here.