BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 18, 2014 — Hispanic consumers tend to feel they are not doing as well as in the past but anticipate that the growing economy will help improve their situation, according to the latest Hispanic consumer confidence index by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
The index slipped from 76.4 in September to 73.4 in October. However, the drop was concentrated in the Current Conditions Index, which went from 79.3 in September to 74.6 in October.
When Hispanics were asked about their current personal financial conditions, only 46 percent reported they are better off than a year ago, down from 49 percent in September. Additionally, the number of Hispanics who said it is a good time to buy big ticket items such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove or television also decreased from 53 percent in September to 50 percent in October.
This pessimism about their current conditions is in contrast with the Expectations Index. When asked about the economic outlook for 2015, 57 percent of Hispanics surveyed expected a good financial outlook for the country, up from 50 percent in August. Additionally, two out of three are optimistic about their financial situation for 2015. Optimism about the country during the next five years has increased each month since the BEPI began, from 36 percent in August, to 41 percent in September and finishing at 45 percent in October.
Income strata did not seem to affect the feeling of stagnation but hope for the future. For example, only 34 percent of low income Hispanic households indicated they are better off than a year ago, but 51 percent expect an improvement in their personal finances in 2015.
“A possible explanation for the optimistic outlook of the economy could be that Hispanic consumers believe a stronger labor market will improve their situation,” said Monica Escaleras, director of FAU BEPI.
Additional information about this survey and the initiative can be accessed at www.business.fau.edu/departments/economics/business-economics-polling/index.aspx#.VG37nb5Qpz4.