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Hispanic Confidence Deteriorating Over Rising Cost of Living
USAgNet - 07/13/2018

Consumer confidence among Hispanics in the U.S. has deteriorated compared to the beginning of the year, as concerns have grown over the perceived rising cost of living, 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 April through June, stands at 86.4, down more than 12 points from the first quarter of 2018 when the Index stood at 98.9, which was the highest score since the index went to a quarterly count in January 2017. The index continues to trail the 98.2 score for the overall U.S. population as published in June by the University of Michigan.

Overall, only 56 percent of Hispanics indicate that they are financially better off today than a year ago, down 13 points from the first quarter of 2018.

The percentage of Hispanics who indicated they will be better off a year from now dropped six points to 72 percent in the second quarter. Younger Hispanics between 18-34 years old (81 percent) are most optimistic about their future financial situation compared to the other age groups (68 percent of 35-54 year olds and above 58 percent of those 55 and over).

Four out of five Hispanics said the cost of living has gone up, a 21 percent rise since the first quarter. This perception, along with increasing concerns over their level of debt, rising gas prices and interest rate hikes, may explain why only 51 percent said they think it is a good time to buy a house (down from 59 percent in the first quarter), and only 49 percent said it is a good time to buy a car (down from 62 percent).

U.S. President Donald Trump's approval rating among Hispanics dropped from 37 to 33 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Of those surveyed, 14.5 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 36.1 percent Democrats, 19.8 percent Independents and 29.6 percent were not registered.

The survey was conducted nationally from April 1 to June 30. The random polling sample consisted of 850 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent.

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