STUDY: 70% of Executives Believe Business Will Grow Strongly in Latin America in the Next Year

According to the sixth edition of the UPS Business Monitor Latin America (BMLA), 70% of small and medium-sized businesses believe businesses in Latin America will grow strongly in the next 12 months, up from 62% in 2011. The BMLA provides an outlook on the current opinions, attitudes and trends among the business leaders of the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the Region.

“We are seeing businesses betting on their own countries and region through their investments. Nearly half of Latin American executives surveyed do not feel that the economic and financial context of developed countries will affect their businesses showing real confidence.”

The study, commissioned by UPS and conducted by TNS Gallup between April and May 2013, surveyed more than 800 top-level SME executives in seven Latin America and the Caribbean countries. The results revealed that almost half of the respondents believe their business is better today than one year ago, especially in Chile (64%), Mexico (63%) and Colombia (51%).

“The results from the latest BMLA study demonstrate an increase in Latin American SMEs that foresee growth in their businesses over the next 12 months compared to 2011,” said Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region. “We are seeing businesses betting on their own countries and region through their investments. Nearly half of Latin American executives surveyed do not feel that the economic and financial context of developed countries will affect their businesses showing real confidence.”

Though the positive outlook for business growth increased from past years, SME executives continue to face some of the same issues they had expressed in previous installments of the study. For example, Brazilian SMEs remain concerned about finding and retaining qualified personnel, while Argentinean executives continue to mention an increase in labor costs as their top worry. This year, Colombians showed that market slowdown is their main concern.

“Latin America has come a long way over the last few years; they have a new sense of self, both politically and economically, and you can see this in the optimism revealed by SMEs across the region,” said Eduardo Gamarra, professor of Latin American and Caribbean politics at Florida International University.