The Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index, taken from October through December 2018, stands at 98.5, up nearly five points from the third quarter of 2018 when the Index stood at 93.7. The index is now just above the fourth quarter score of 98.2 for the overall U.S. population as published in December by the University of Michigan.
Overall, 71 percent of Hispanics said they are financially better off today than a year ago, up nine points from the third quarter of 2018 (62 percent). Looking at the year ahead, 74 percent of Hispanics indicated they will be better off over the next year, up slightly from 72 percent in the third quarter. Their short-run economic outlook dipped slightly, with 59 percent of Hispanics saying they expect the country as a whole to experience good business conditions in the upcoming year, down a point from the third quarter.
Hispanics' long-run outlook continued to improve, with 59 percent of Hispanics expecting good times for the country as a whole over the next five years, up slightly from the third quarter (58 percent). Overall, 62 percent of Hispanics think it is good time to buy big-ticket items for the home, up from 58 percent in the third quarter.
Positive economic conditions have also helped President Trump's approval rating among Hispanics, which continued to improve from 37 to 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Of those surveyed, 30.9 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 40.8 percent Democrats, 15.3 percent Independents and 13 percent were not registered.
The survey was conducted nationally from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. The random polling sample consisted of 700 Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent. The survey was administered using both landlines via IVR data collection and online data collection using Survey Sampling International.