College of Business poll shows Hispanics optimistic for economic future

They don’t believe it’s because of President Trump though.

Photo courtesy of the Business and Economics Polling Initiative at FAU


Photo courtesy of the Business and Economics Polling Initiative at FAU

Thomas Chiles, Features Editor

Many Hispanic people in the United States have been financially stable as of late and believe the economy is headed in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean they’re on President Trump’s side just yet.

The majority of Hispanics (78 percent) around the country expect to be better off financially in the next year and more than half (51 percent) believe the economy will become stronger over the next five years, according to the latest national survey conducted by FAU’s Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI).

The poll shows economic growth among Hispanics, yet President Trump’s approval rating has fallen from 39 percent to 33 percent. This shows that Hispanics may not connect their approval of the recent economic climate to Trump’s time in office.

The BEPI releases the Hispanic Consumer Index quarterly (every three months) to determine how Hispanic Americans feel about the economy in the U.S. The index gives information on how they will be spending in the near future, and whether or not they approve of the current administration.

April’s Index showed Hispanics were more pessimistic toward the economy. Only 60 percent believed it would be better off next year, and 57 percent said they expected bad times financially for the next five years.

“Although Hispanics’ approval rating of Mr. Trump has dropped compared to the previous quarter, they are still optimistic about their financial situation and the economic outlook of the country in the next five years,”Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of BEPI said.

Millennials with a bright future

Even though most Hispanics believe the economy is on the rise, it is young Hispanics under the age of 34 that are the most optimistic, with 82 percent of them expecting their finances to improve in the next year.

“This is important because millennial Latinos make up a large proportion of the Latino adult population at around 40 percent, much larger than the 20 percent that millennials make up in the overall U.S. population,” Escaleras said. “This is good news since many of these millennials are graduating from college and joining the job market.”

Economic Optimism, Presidential Pessimism

With most Hispanics disapproving of President Trump’s time in office, what is causing the recent spike in financial optimism?

“A plausible explanation is that many Latinos have seen job growth since the unemployment rate among Hispanics has been decreasing,” Escaleras said.

Flourishing businesses and job markets mean that most Hispanics believe it is a good time to buy a house or a car, although an increase in the cost of living was reported in the poll.

The BEPI is directed by Escaleras and carried out by students in a classroom setting. The class can be taken as a course for independent study. Students survey and collect data from Florida residents under Escaleras’ supervision and the results are published by the College of Business.

The poll was conducted nationally from April 1 to June 30, consisting of 1,000 Hispanics over the age of 18, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

Thomas Chiles is the features editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thomas_iv.