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Hispanics' Consumer Confidence Improves as Optimism Grows
New York Ag Connection - 10/11/2018

Consumer confidence among Hispanics in the U.S. improved in the third quarter of 2018 as optimism has grown about their financial situation as well as the U.S. economy as a whole, according to a new national consumer sentiment index conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in FAU's College of Business.

The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index (HCSI), taken from July through September, stands at 93.7, up more than seven points from the second quarter of 2018 when the Index stood at 86.4. However, the index continues to trail the quarterly score of 98.1 for the overall U.S. population as published in September by the University of Michigan.

Overall, 62 percent of Hispanics indicated they are financially better off today than a year ago, up nearly six points from the second quarter of 2018 (56.2 percent). Looking ahead, 72.4 percent of Hispanics indicated they will be better off over the next year, up slightly from 71.6 percent in the second quarter. Hispanics' short-run economic outlook improved, with 59.5 percent saying they expect the country as a whole to experience good business conditions in the upcoming year, which is a 10-point improvement from the previous quarter.

The long-run outlook also improved, with 57.6 percent of Hispanics expecting good times for the country as a whole over the next five years, up slightly from the second quarter (56.2 percent). Overall, 58.2 percent of Hispanics think it is good time to buy big-ticket items for the home, up from 51.7 percent in the second quarter.

President Trump's approval rating among Hispanics improved from 33 to 37 percent in the third quarter of 2018, back to where it was in the first quarter of the year. Of those surveyed, 20.4 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 37.7 percent Democrats, 17.5 percent Independents and 24.4 percent were not registered.

The survey was conducted nationally from July 1 to September 30. The random polling sample consisted of 750 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent. The survey was administered using both landlines via IVR data collection and online data collection. Polling results are available at business.fau.edu/bepi.

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