Italy: trade credit increasingly used to grow sales

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Italy
  • Agriculture,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Food,
  • Machines/Engineering,
  • Metals,
  • Steel

25th November 2020

The COVID-19 economic downturn has had a great impact on businesses in Italy. The country endured one of the longest and most stringent lockdowns in Europe.


The Italian government has enacted some social assistance measures and a temporary freeze on insolvency proceedings in a bid to invigorate the economy and keep trade flowing. Businesses have also taken steps to promote trade. Following the pandemic downturn, businesses in Italy offered the greatest percentage of trade credit for five years.

The majority of Italian respondents to the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey that offered trade credit told us they did so mainly to domestic customers in order to stimulate credit sales. Although it might seem counterintuitive to offer credit during a recession and environment of heightened insolvency, B2B credit can be a valuable tool for business generation, particularly when cash flow is protected.

Key takeaways from the report

  • More than half of business sales of Italian suplliers use trade credit
  • Payment terms increase in length compared to pre-pandemic levels
  • After the onset of the pandemic, nearly half of respondents approached self-insurance for  the first time,
  • Businesses respond to poor cash flow by delaying payment to suppliers
  • Most businesses in Italy expect domestic economy to improve in 2021
  • Attitudes of Italian businesses towards global economy and international trade are a little more upbeat

Interested in getting to know more?

For a complete overview of the corporate payment behaviour in Italy 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
  • Machines
  • Steel-metals
  • Textiles

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