TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida Atlantic University study tracking consumer confidence among Hispanics in the United States found that attitudes toward the economy and personal financial situations improved as 2023 started.

The Hispanic Index of Consumer Sentiment from FAU showed that Hispanics “feel more optimistic about their financial situations as they go into 2023,” an 11-point jump compared to the previous quarter’s score. As a demographic, FAU reported 72% of Hispanics in the U.S. expect better financial situations for 2023, an increase from the third quarter outlook.

The timing somewhat followed sentiment over inflation, with U.S. inflation rates in their sixth month in a row of annual decreases. As of December, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported inflation was at a rate of 6.5%, nationally.

Over the course of 2022, FAU’s study showed Hispanic consumer sentiment fell sharply, almost 20 full points from Q1 to Q3, before rising again by the end of the year. FAU reported that “In the fourth quarter, 56% of Hispanics said they are better off financially today than a year ago compared to 44% in the third quarter.”

The same proportion of respondents in the FAU study said they also expect good business conditions in the U.S., though women were “more optimistic of the short run economic outlook” than their male counterparts.

Compared to the previous study results:

  • In the fourth quarter, 37% of Hispanics think it is a good time to buy a house compared to 26% in the third quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter, 42% of Hispanics think it is a good time to buy a car compared to 43% in the third quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter, 78% of Hispanics said the cost of living has gone up compared to 81% in the third quarter.

“Airline fares fell 28.5% from the previous year, while over the same period car repairs dropped 19.5% and delivery services fell 13.3%,” FAU noted. “Economists hope the upbeat report means government officials will be less inclined to take dramatic steps to control inflation.”

Consumer price hikes were also said to be moderating, aiding in the optimism from the Hispanic consumer survey respondents. The university announcement of the study results said easing inflation pressures were “bolstering” Hispanic consumer confidence, matching similar data from the consumer confidence index published by the University of Michigan.