Earlier this year, ThinkNow Research conducted its annual consumer sentiment study among a representative sample of U.S. Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and non-Hispanic whites. This is the third year we have conducted this study and it has now become one of the most widely cited consumer sentiment studies for its focus on multicultural consumers.

While our focus is on African-American consumers this month on our blog, our data goes into depth across all cohorts. For the full consumer sentiment outlook with a breakout of all cohorts, please go to our store to purchase the full report.

This year’s study comes on the heels of our recent shift in focus here at ThinkNow, away from solely Hispanic consumer insights, to that of a culturally-integrated market research agency, integrating Hispanic, African-American, and Asian insights into custom market research for companies and government agencies looking to thrive in a changing demographic environment.

Our focus also comes after last year’s solid job growth that proved to be especially beneficial to communities of color, whose unemployment rates rose well above 10 percent during the worst years of the recession. In particular, after reaching a high of 16.8 percent in March 2010, the African American unemployment rate fell to 10.4 percent in December 2014. Between December 2013 and December 2014, African Americans had the largest increase in the share of adults with a job and the largest increase in their labor force participation rate, translating to nearly 200,000 fewer unemployed black workers.

This promising economic shift was identified through our analysis of household income in which 4-in-10 African-Americans noted an improvement in their finances compared to last year. This is higher than non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and Asians:

Household Financial Situation

This positive trend continues when we asked about their feelings towards this upcoming year in relation to their family finances:

Finances for 2016

This optimism bodes well for the consumer durable goods industry as African-Americans were more likely to purchase big-ticket items such as smartphones and large appliances in 2015 compared to 2014:

Major Purchases

Lastly, this optimistic streak extends into 2016 as more African-Americans are planning to purchase a new vehicle in 2016 compared to 2015. The same is true of home electronics:

Major Purchases

As African-American purchasing power reaches a tipping point in 2016, our data identifies a few industries that are likely to benefit from this trend: automotive, technology, and consumer durable goods.

If you’re in either one of these industries, now is a good time to take a serious look at your African-American marketing initiatives and make sure your messaging is on par with their expectations.

Click here to download the free version of this report focusing on African-American consumer sentiment.

Click here to purchase the full report looking at Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and non-Hispanic white consumer sentiment