Broadly taken, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) weathered the turmoil of the global economic crisis fairly well. After the region’s GDP growth slowed notably in 2008, and fell to negative levels in 2009, growth returned to relatively robust, positive rates by 2010. What’s more, this bounce-back in GDP aligned closely with trends in the private sector.
Value added, as a percentage of GDP, in both manufacturing and services, returned quickly from negative levels in 2009 to positive growth by 2010; over the same period, government consumption remained comparatively flat.
In other words, if you want to understand LAC’s recent pattern of economic growth, look at the private sector.
Data from the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Surveys put together a wealth of information, gathered directly from private sector firms’ experiences, to create a picture of the business environment around the world. For our recent work in LAC, the project surveyed nearly 15,000 business owners and top managers in 31 countries, including interviews conducted by re-visiting thousands of businesses in 15 countries, where the surveys were also conducted in 2006.