Businesses paid 71.3% of their invoices on time in the last quarter of 2015, a new punctuality record, says Graydon, which provides business information and credit and debtor management, in a report on Wednesday. The federal government, on the other hand delayed invoice payments for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Graydon ascribes the record to better economic circumstances, but “the improved liquidity levels have also played a crucial role.” However, the number instances of payment defaults (more than 90-days after the due date) remains extraordinarily high (9%).
The Graydon study shows progress in all Belgian regions, but “spectacularly” so in Brussels, where an average of 72.89% businesses have settled accounts on time. In Flanders 70.76% of invoices were paid on time in the last quarter of 2015, and correspondingly 69.41% in Wallonia. The increase in punctuality had an effect in the majority of sectors, with the exception of travel agents, printing and maritime transport.
Lastly, the survey reveals that the federal government accumulated payment delays for the fourth consecutive quarter, with 67% of invoices paid on time and 8% paid late (more than 90 days overdue), or the lowest score since 2008. The main culprit is the Service Public Fédéral de la Justice (SPF Justice – Federal ministry of Justice), the report highlights.