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UGA study: Hispanic buying power in U.S. surpasses Mexico's GDP

The Selig Center for Economic Growth at UGA has published its annual assessment of minority buying power in the United States.

We point you to this link with one caveat: Downloading “The Multicultural Economy 2016” by economist Jeff Humprheys will cost you a fat $125. So we’ll offer you some highlights from the press release:

In 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico…


[T]he nation's total buying power reached $13.9 trillion in 2016 and … will hit $16.6 trillion by 2021, with minority groups making the fastest gains. For example, African-American buying power, estimated at $1.2 trillion in 2016, will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2021, making it the largest racial minority consumer market.


More than one in six Americans claims Hispanic origin, which helps explain rapid gains over the past few years. From a buying power estimate of $495 billion in 2000, the group has increased its economic clout 181 percent to $1.4 trillion in 2016. That accounts for nearly 10 percent of total U.S. buying power in 2016 and means the U.S. Hispanic market is larger than the GDP of Mexico and bigger than the economies of all but 14 countries in the world.

The report provides national buying power estimates for seven selected groups of Hispanic consumers, with Mexican-Americans representing the largest group and accounting for $797 billion worth of buying power, followed by Puerto Ricans, who account for $146 billion.


African-Americans constitute the nation's largest racial minority market; however, the buying power of Hispanics (an ethnic minority group) is larger. Black buying power increased 98 percent from 2000 to 2016 and will comprise 8.8 percent of the nation's total buying power in 2021…


Martha Dalton of WABE (90.1FM) on Wednesday tackled the alleged tension between Gov. Nathan Deal and state School Superintendent Richard Woods over House Bill 338, which would permit the state to intervene in failing schools. In fact, the AJC found a rather testy email exchange between the two gentlemen over who should supervise the intervention efforts. But never mind, said the school superintendent.

“For me there is no tension,” Woods said. “It’s part of the legislative process.”


Chuck Williams of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer tells us that a first candidate has signed up for the Senate seat that will be vacated next year by Republican Josh McKoon.

Georgia Fraternal Order of Police President Randy Robertson, a former major in the Muscogee County sheriff’s office, has filed the proper paperwork establishing his candidacy. He’ll run as a Republican.


We spotted state House Minority Leader Stacy Abrams in this McClatchy piece about a recent, secret meeting of red-state Democrats struggling to survive in the era of President Donald Trump:

Over a packed three-day schedule with a battery of presentations, the U.S. senators, former federal prosecutors, mayors and top Cabinet officials from the Obama administration in attendance talked about faith and religious voters, heard from a radio host about a medium typically reserved for conservatives and considered research suggesting that liberal priorities – like student loan debt – are just not a big deal.


It was hardly a typical Democratic event. But that, (former Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark) Begich said, was the point.

“[Blue state Democrats] tend to dominate the conversation,” said Abrams, the legislative leader in Georgia, whom many Democrats consider one of the party’s foremost rising stars. “By virtue of being in a red state, we are often fighting for attention, but we also have a credibility challenge because we don’t win as often.”


The two biggest Donald Trump boosters in the race for Georgia's Sixth District are feuding with each other.

Bruce LeVell, who was head of Trump's diversity coalition, accused Bob Gray of "lying to the Trump voters from the start of this campaign" about his support for the president.

And he said Gray has proven it by accepting the endorsement of the Club for Growth PAC, which he called "Trump's number one enemy." (The free-market advocacy group has long had a queasy relationship with Trump.)



Gray, a former Johns Creek councilman, has promised to be a "willing partner" of Trump and has featured his drain the swamp slogan in his ad campaign. His spokesman fired back at LeVell.

"We're focused on defeating the Democrat," said Joash Thomas, a campaign spokesman, "not any of the candidates polling below Lindsey Graham."


In the same race, Ron Slotin has been trying to capture some of the energy and attention surrounding fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff's campaign.

He released a first ad on Wednesday that opens with a reminder that he served in the state Senate in the 1990s "when we actually got things done."

In a seeming knock on Ossoff, who faces GOP attacks questioning the 30-year-old's experience, Slotin ends the ad with this: "It's time to send an adult to Washington to get results for you."

Then he points at the camera. See for yourself:



A state Capitol press conference scheduled for today, featuring the endorsement of a fantasy sports bill by Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins has been postponed. A personal conflict prevented Wilkins' appearance, organizers said.

The bill’s sponsor is state Rep. Trey Kelley, and a Senate committee plans to consider it Thursday afternoon.


Better late than never. The U.S. House on Wednesday passed -- a week later than initially expected -- a bill that would expand and upgrade the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in downtown Atlanta to a national historic park. It advanced by a voice vote.

We wrote about the John Lewis-sponsored effort here.  The bill must go to the Senate before it can be sent to the president’s desk.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.