Hispanic Consumers Keep Spending

DALLAS Consumer spending by Hispanics reached $531 billion in 2002, up more than 50 percent in the last five years, according to a new study commissioned by Spanish-language television network Telemundo.

That finding is one of many analyzed by the Waltham, Mass.-based economic forecasting firm Global Insight, which was commissioned by Telemundo to analyze economic power and the growth of 10 of the most important product categories.

Hispanic consumer spending is predicted to grow at a rate of 9.1 percent between 2002 and 2020, due largely to continued improvement in educational attainment, leading to gains in employment and average household income, according to the study. This rate will exceed the national growth of spending over the period by three percentage points.

The 10 product categories that showed the most growth among the Hispanic population are new cars and light trucks, motion picture tickets, prescription drugs, the financial products market, consumer electronics, department stores, clothing and shoes, home improvement centers, quick-service restaurants and Hispanic-owned businesses.

The study also found that employment growth among Hispanics exceeded the national average in every year over the last decade, averaging 3.5 percent, while the U.S. average was 1.1 percent. Also, while economy-wide employment has declined by 980,000 since 2000, Hispanic employment has increased by 450,000.

The average disposable income per Hispanic household in 2002 was $56,431, or 77 percent of the average for all U.S. households.