Hispanics remain optimistic about the future of their personal finances even though skyrocketing inflation is making energy and the shopping basket more expensive, says a survey released Thursday by Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
Despite the high cost of living, the Hispanic population in the United States was more optimistic than at the end of 2021, and the Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index increased from 86.7% in the fourth quarter to 92%.
Thus, the Business & Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) shows that this index regained the level recorded in the first quarter of 2021.
65% of Hispanics said they are better off financially than they were a year earlier, 6 percentage points higher than the figure for the last quarter of 2021.
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Men are more optimistic than women: 72% of them, while the other gender is only 57%.
Something similar happened in terms of the outlook for how their economy will be a year from now, rising from 70% optimism three months ago to 73% in the first quarter of the year, thanks especially to millennials.
Monica Escaleras, director of FAU BEPI, noted that this group represents a large portion of the Hispanic population and many of them are currently entering the job market for the first time and face “excellent prospects” thanks to the fact that unemployment among Latinos has dropped “sharply” since last year.
And all this despite a sharp rise in inflation, which soared to 8.5% last March, a record level not seen since 1981.
This caused 81% of respondents to say that the cost of living had risen, compared to 70% in the last quarter of 2021.
However, 55% of Hispanics said they expect the country as a whole to experience good business conditions in the coming year compared to 51% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
This view holds true for the long term, Hispanics are more optimistic now than in the fourth quarter of 2021 (61% vs. 53%), although in this case it is women who have a better view of the future (43% vs. 35%).
49% of Hispanics think it is a good time to buy a home, compared to 46% in the last study, and 53% think it is a good time to buy a car, the same percentage as three months ago.
Despite the optimism reflected in this survey of 612 Hispanic adults in the first quarter with a margin of error of 3.96%, there is one point where the prospects for the future are not so promising: purchases of expensive household items, where the index fell three points to 50%.