BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time since the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) began in August, a majority (52.6 percent) of Hispanics have a favorable view about the U.S. economic conditions over the next five years — with females leading the charge. Additionally, the Hispanic consumer confidence index continued to rise in December to a new high of 86.4, up from 81.3 in November, but it still lags behind the December high of 93.6 reported by the University of Michigan's National Consumer Sentiment Index.
"A plausible explanation for the increase in the consumer sentiment among Hispanics could be the improving labor market and falling gasoline prices," said Monica Escaleras, director of FAU BEPI. "Female Hispanic consumers are leading the way in the improving mood. However, lower income Hispanics appear to be keeping the Hispanic index lower than the national index."
Females appear to be the driving force behind these attitudes with 62.1 percent optimistic about business conditions (53 percent for males), and 56.4 percent of females are optimistic about the economic conditions of the country over the next five years (48.9 percent for males).
The Expectations Index also rose nearly five points from 81.6 in November to 86.1 in December matching the Michigan index (79.9 to 86.4) for the second month in a row. Optimism toward business conditions in 2015 also increased five points from 52.6 percent to 57.6 percent.
The Current Conditions Index was also up from 80.8 in November to 86.1 in December, but overall is down compared to the national index which is at 104.8. Driving down the current conditions index are the lower income Hispanics — only 40.6 percent of those with incomes of under $25,000 say they are better off financially than a year ago, compared with 57.8 percent of those with incomes between $25,001-$75,000, and 71 percent with incomes over $75,000.
The polling sample consisted of 500 Hispanics with a margin of error of +/- 4.33 percent, and a 95 percent confidence level. The poll ran from Dec, 1-31.
SOURCE FAU Business and Economics Polling Institute