Hispanics represent $40 billion of purchasing power in Arizona, a state where Latinos have been buffeted by the effects of harsh laws targeting undocumented immigrants.

The figure is contained in a report released here Friday by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, DATOS: Focus on the Hispanic Market, which also reveals that the state is home to 65,000 Latino-owned businesses.

"The fiscal health and the expansion of the state and national economy increasingly depend on the economic vitality of the Latino community," AZHCC President Gonzalo de la Melena told Efe.

The AZHCC study shows Arizona ranks fifth among the states in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses and that 11 percent of those firms belong to women.
Arizona Latinos have seen their purchasing power increase by 127 percent in the past decade.

Here in Phoenix, the state capital, Hispanic consumers spent $7.8 billion in 2010, a figure projected to grow to $11.5 billion in 2015.

Spending by Hispanic consumers is expected to soar 119 percent by 2020, about double the increase for the general population.

"As the 2012 DATOS report indicates, we are witnessing an expansion of the buying power of Latinos and their impact on the growth of businesses," De la Melena said.
By states, the largest U.S. Hispanic markets are California, where Latinos represent $265 in purchasing power; Texas, $176 billion; and Florida, $107 billion.

2012 DATOS found half of Hispanic women in Arizona are in the 18-34 age group and that 73 percent of them live in households that include at least one child.

The report, which was prepared in partnership with Arizona State University, provides a detailed analysis of the behavior of Latino consumers: their tastes, where they shop, the vehicles they prefer and which sporting events they attend.

The researchers also looked at Hispanics' online purchasing habits, their interest in social media and what they watch on television.

Analysts expect 317,000 of Arizona's roughly 482,000 Hispanic register voters will go to the polls in November.

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