Consumer confidence among U.S. Hispanics fell in the second quarter, though optimism about their overall finances is building as the nation continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index decreased to 90.8 from 92 in the first quarter, but it remains high above 82.8 during the second quarter of last year, according to the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in FAU’s College of Business.
In the second quarter of 2021, optimism declined slightly in three out of the five questions used to generate the index.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said good business conditions will exist in the next year, compared with 54 percent who felt that way in the first quarter. In addition, 59 percent said there will be good times for the country over the next five years, compared to 61 percent who said that in the first quarter. Meanwhile, 53 percent said this is a good time to buy a big-ticket item for a home, down from 54 percent in the first quarter.
Still survey respondents were upbeat about their finances, with 63 percent believing they are better off than a year ago, compared with 59 percent who said that in the first quarter and 47 percent who felt that way in the fourth quarter of 2020.
What’s more, 74 percent said they will be better off financially a year from now, up from 73 percent in the first quarter and 62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“Hispanics were affected tremendously during the COVID-19 recession, and the hardest-hit industries, such as leisure and hospitality, are those that employ the greatest share of Latinos and other racial minorities,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI. “However, the situation is turning around as these industries are hiring again and even offering higher wages. This translates to better opportunities for Hispanics to improve their personal finances.”
The poll is based on a sampling of 616 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, from April 1 to June 30. The margin of error is +/- 3.95 percentage points. The polling results and full cross-tabulations can be viewed here.