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    Customer payment punctuality is currently declining

    The punctuality of company payments coming from federal or regional government organisations, and indeed other companies, is generally declining. Thus lament the employer organisation Unizo (serving the Flemish middle classes) and the consultant Graydon.

    Since the third quarter of 2014, at the time when the economic crisis seemed to have passed, for the most part, invoices were settled quicker.  However a lapse in the trend was observed during the fourth quarter of 2015, until it reached a point at the end of the last quarter, when hardly 68.3% of invoices were paid on time.

    Amongst other company debtors, the federal administration has lost its image as a good payer. This is according to Graydon and Unizo. In the third quarter of 2017, it only honoured 61% of its invoices in time (compared to 72% in the second quarter). Graydon and Unizo stress that 11% of such invoices are paid when more than 90 days overdue.

    According to Graydon and Unizo, all of these accumulated delays (whether B2B or government to business) last year cost the Belgian economy €9.65 billion. This equates to 2% of Gross National Product (GNP) and the equivalent of some 20,000 jobs. Construction remains the sector suffering the worst levels of payment punctuality, as well as services to companies or government organisations and commercial mediation.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times