A business climate of financial distress can be seen in our survey findings of significantly poorer B2B customer payment behaviour in Bulgaria.
The 2023 Payment Practices Barometer survey for Bulgaria was conducted between the end of Q1 and the beginning of Q2 2023. Its findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.
Key takeaways from the report for Bulgaria
Cash flow focus sharpened by increased credit risk
- Sales transacted on credit with B2B customers increased by 10% during the past year among companies polled in Bulgaria, particularly in the steel-metals sector. This was probably a reflection of resilient domestic demand as well as rising exports towards the European Union. Despite this upward trend, however, credit-based sales to B2B customers average only 44% of all Bulgaria B2B sales, with the largest proportion of sales transacted on a cash basis.
- This suggests a clear perception among Bulgarian companies about the risk of late or non-payment arising from B2B trade transactions on credit, and a desire to minimise the impact of risk on the business. This clear aversion to risk was also evident in tighter payment terms offered to B2B customers across all sectors in Bulgaria. Payment terms now average 29 days from invoicing, compared to 32 days last year.
Strong switch to credit insurance amid payment behaviour concerns
- The major concerns about the year ahead expressed by companies polled in Bulgaria are various potential obstacles to business growth. One serious challenge could be tariffs imposed to restrict international trade that would reduce the competitiveness of Bulgarian businesses worldwide.
- Another particular reason for concern surrounds the possible negative effects of emission reduction targets, which would require significant investment and incur higher costs for companies polled across sectors. Bulgarian companies also reported worry about possible cash flow issues during the coming months, as well as the uncertain trend of inflation and high interest rates, which could put additional strain on business investment and household spending.
The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. Its findings can give valuable insights into the current dynamics of corporate payment behaviour in B2B trade. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers.
Interested in finding out more?
For a complete overview of the 2023 survey results for Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, please download the full report available in the related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix to the regional report is also available for download in the section below.
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