Belgium: businesses cautiously optimistic about 2021

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Belgium
  • Agriculture,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Construction,
  • Consumer Durables,
  • Food

25th November 2020

Signs of economic stress visible, although business confidence in Belgium remains fairly strong

Introduction

The Belgian economy was not in the strongest position when the pandemic took hold. It has been experiencing a slow down over the past few years and was relying on domestic demand to be the primary growth driver. With  lockdowns and orders to stay at home, businesses in every area were affected although some, such as the construction industry, were hit harder than others.

For example, following the onset of the pandemic, late payments impacted 63% of the total value of B2B invoices in Belgium’s construction industry and represented a dramatic increase from last year’s 23%. The story is not entirely negative, however. Despite retail bearing the brunt of the downturn in many markets, the consumer durables sector in Belgium has to date been weathering the economic crisis fairly well.

Key takeaways from the report

  • Businesses surveyed in Belgium practise caution in approach to trade credit granting to B2B customers since the start of the pandemic
  • Despite restrictions on payment terms granted to B2B customers, late payments surge
  • Supplier-customer communication grows during new approach to credit checks: 42% of businesses began sourcing credit information directly from their customers more often than in the past (more than the regional average of 38%)
  • Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, businesses in Belgium feel positive about customer creditworthiness, domestic and global economies in 2021
  • 48% of businesses in Belgium predict the greatest threat to business profitability in 2021 will be cost containment

Interested in getting to know more?

For a complete overview of the corporate payment behaviour in Belgium during the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, please download the complete report.  The  report gives also insight into the impact of the pandemic-induced economic crisis on the following industries in the country:

  • Agri-food
  • Chemicals
  • Construction
  • Construction materials
  • Consumer durables

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