Newswise — Hispanics in Florida are optimistic about their financial situation despite concerns about rising costs and interest rates, according to a new statewide survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.

However, they continue to disapprove of U.S. President Donald Trump. Among Florida Hispanics, 39 percent approve of his performance. Of those surveyed, 27 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 37 percent Democrats, 22 percent Independents and 14 percent not registered.

“Hispanics in Florida are better off financially and this is reflected in their feelings about the economy,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI. “However, they still don’t approve of the president’s performance.”

When asked about the country on the whole, 53 percent of Florida Hispanics said they expect good times financially for the next five years. This runs counter to the national Hispanic index that found 57 percent of Hispanics said they expect bad times financially for the next five years. Florida Hispanics by a margin of 59 to 41 percent see business conditions as good for the next year. Overall, 68 percent of Florida Hispanics said they are better off financially than they were one year ago and nearly 4 out of 5 said they will be better off over the next year as well.

The cost of living is having an impact as 70 percent said it has gone up while only 10 percent said it has gone down and 20 percent said it has stayed the same. More than half of Florida Hispanics (57 percent) expect the price of gas to go up, while 13 percent think it will go down. A majority of Florida Hispanics (55 percent) expect interest rates to go up, while 12 percent said they think they will go down.

More than one-third of Florida Hispanics (34 percent) expect the economy will get better, while 20 percent think it will get worse and 45 percent said it will stay the same. Nearly 6 out of 10 Hispanics think it is a good time for buying a big item for their home. More than half (58 percent) think it is a good time to buy a house, while nearly 65 percent said it was a good time to buy a car.

Debt is a major problem for 23 percent of Florida Hispanics and a minor problem for an additional 50 percent, while 27 percent said debt was not a problem at all.

The survey was conducted Jan. 1-March 31. The random polling sample consisted of 600 Florida Hispanics, 18 years of age and older, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.

The poll was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International, using online questionnaires.

Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Hispanic Florida population by gender, income and age according to latest American Community Survey data.

For more information, polling results and full cross-tabulations, visit the BEPI website or contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D. at 561-297-1312 or [email protected]

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 About FAU BEPI: The Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative conducts surveys on business, economic, political and social issues with a focus on Hispanic attitudes and opinions at regional, state and national levels via planned monthly national surveys. The initiative subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research and is a resource for public and private organizations, academic research and media outlets. In addition, the initiative is designed to contribute to the educational mission of the University by providing students with valuable opportunities to enhance their educational experience by designing and carrying out public opinion research.

About Florida Atlantic University Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit