Hispanics' Consumer Confidence Drops for Second Straight Quarter

james-hellegaard/jhellegaard@fau.edu | Wed Jul 10, 2019

The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index, taken from April through June, stands at 95, down nearly two points from the first quarter of 2019 when the Index stood at 96.6.

The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index, taken from April through June, stands at 95, down nearly two points from the first quarter of 2019 when the Index stood at 96.6.


By james hellegaard | 7/10/2019

Consumer confidence among Hispanics in the U.S. dropped slightly for the second consecutive quarter of 2019 as concerns for the economic outlook for the U.S. worsened, 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, taken from April through June, stands at 95, down nearly two points from the first quarter of 2019 when the Index stood at 96.6. The Index is now more than three points below the second quarter score of 98.4 for the overall U.S. population as published by the University of Michigan.

Overall, 68 percent of Hispanics said they are financially better off today than a year ago, up slightly from the first quarter (67 percent). Looking ahead, 70 percent of Hispanics indicated they would be better off over the next year, which is a four-point drop from the first quarter. Hispanics that self-identified as Democrats are more optimistic about their future financial situation (75 percent) compared to Republicans (69 percent), Independents (67 percent) and unregistered voters (63 percent).

Hispanics’ short-run economic outlook was unchanged, with 59 percent of Hispanics saying they expect the country as a whole to experience good business conditions in the upcoming year. Women are more optimistic about the short-run economic outlook of the country compared to men (62-56 percent).

Hispanics’ long-run outlook also took another slight downturn, with 56 percent of Hispanics expecting good times for the country as a whole over the next five years, down two points from the first quarter (58 percent). Men are more optimistic about the long-run economic outlook of the country compared to women (60-53 percent).

Overall, 61 percent of Hispanics think it is good time to buy big-ticket items for the home, down from 62 percent in the first quarter.

“The drop in the consumer sentiment can be a product of households being worried about the negative impact of tariffs on their pocketbooks,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI.

The drop in consumer confidence also appeared to continue to bring down U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval rating among Hispanics, which has dipped three points in each of the last two quarters to 34 percent. Of those surveyed, 25.7 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 41.6 percent Democrats, 16 percent Independents and 16.8 percent were not registered. 

The survey was conducted nationally from April 1 to June 30. The random polling sample consisted of 510 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 4.34 percent. The survey was administered using both landlines via IVR data collection and online data collection using Survey Sampling International. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the national distribution of the Hispanic population by region, education, gender and age according to latest American Community Survey data. 

For more information, polling results and full cross-tabulations, visit business.fau.edu/bepi or contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., at mescaler@fau.edu.

-FAU-