Considering a new product with ethnic appeal? In a recent research report, Packaged Facts, New York, says the United States’ estimated 46 million Hispanic consumers are a powerful influence on the nation’s economy with buying power that totaled more than $980 billion in 2008. Moreover, those consumers will account for cumulative growth of 31 percent or $1.3 trillion in spending by 2013, researchers say.

“Latinos will change the profile of American society over the next four decades,” says Tatjana Meerman, Packaged Facts publisher. “The Hispanic population will grow much quicker than other population segments and Hispanic consumers will represent an increasing percentage of the American consumer base.”

Gen-Y Latinos (ages 18-29) and Gen-X Latinos (ages 30-44) are particularly influential because they control more than 60 percent of all Hispanic buying power.

Notes Packaged Facts, “These young Hispanic adults generate significant consumer spending both for themselves and their families. Consequently, they have a disproportionate impact on a number of industries in the American economy including entertainment, apparel and children’s items.”