We publish the 27th HispanicBusiness 500 at a time when the pillars of the U.S. economy are shaking. It is now commonplace to refer to the current recession as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the l930s. Indeed, the mighty Fortune 500 reported its worst slump ever this year.
Yet the HispanicBusiness 500, if one considers a key metric, managed to post an increase in total sales revenue this year. In 2007, the 500 posted revenue of $36.13 billion, compared with $36.15 billion in 2008, amounting to an increase of 0.1 percent.
But let's not make too much hay out of this single fact.
Some industry sectors did better than others, not surprisingly. What is surprising is that the financial sector had a significant 17.2 percent increase in overall revenues. Pan-American Life Insurance Co. of New Orleans realized meaningful gains. On the other hand, the retail sector took a big hit.
Annually we profile the performance of key industry sectors, which allows us to look at some of the most important drivers of the 500. The sectors analysis enables us to break down the 500 -- allowing reporting on important trends taking place in very specific markets. For reasons that are obvious, we are adding an important new sector: energy. So much is taking place in this sector, old and new, we will not want for information to report.
Just consider what is taking place on the consumer end of the equation. The latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in a report on "Expenditures by Ethnicity, 1997-2007," reports the U.S. Hispanic share of total U.S. energy consumption at 11.1 percent. Hispanics spent $5.4 billion on natural gas for the period indicated, $l7.18 billion on electricity, and $32.7 billion in gasoline and motor oil.
This issue is blessed with testimonials received from interested readers, in acknowledgment of the 30th anniversary of the magazine. If anything, HispanicBusiness Magazine is proof there is a market for hard data on U.S. Hispanics, especially data dealing with critical aspects of their economic life.
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