The European Payment Report, an annual survey drafted by payment processing company Intrum of European businesses, has found that almost two-thirds (64%) of Belgian companies are worried about late payments this year.
Businesses fear that inflation, strict regulation, logistical delays, and rising interest rates could cause clients to miss payment deadlines. 62% of companies expect that rising inflation will impact customers' ability to pay on time or in full within the next 12 months. Annual inflation in Belgium hit 40-year highs in May, reaching 8.97%.
“Executives in Belgium are concerned they do not have the insight to manage the impact of inflation,” the report notes. 40% of Belgian companies state that inflation is restricting their ability to grow and seize new opportunities.
Faced with these challenges, another 64% of Belgian companies admit that they do not have any in-house expertise on how to successfully manage the impact of inflation on their business, even though 38% state that they do not have concerns about their cash flow in the immediate future.
- More than half of Brussels residents struggle to make ends meet
- Annual Eurozone inflation climbs again to 8.1%
Customer bankruptcy is a growing problem in Belgium. As government support for businesses was slowly phased out for Belgian companies after the Covid-19 pandemic, bankruptcies have come back with a vengeance. In the first four months of 2022, there were 3,103 bankruptcies in Belgium, according to trade information company Graydon, up 45% from the year before.
71% of companies said that if they received payments more quickly, they could pay off their own suppliers more quickly. An additional 69% stated that it would help facilitate investments in sustainability, and 68% said it would allow them to expand their market offering.