The heightened payment risk is prompting businesses polled in the United States to implement a more stringent trade credit policy for B2B transactions.
The 2023 Payment Practices Barometer survey for the US was conducted between the end of Q2 and the beginning of Q3 2023. Its findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.
Key takeaways from the report for the US
Soaring payment risk spurs stricter B2B trade credit policy in the US
- US companies have experienced an upward trend in late payments and bad debts arising from B2B trade on credit during the past 12 months. Currently, 55% of all B2B invoiced sales are overdue, while bad debts affect an average 9% of all credit-based B2B sales. The electronics/ICT sector was the most affected.
- Deterioration in B2B payment practices has raised concerns among US businesses. Electronics/ICT companies have attributed the challenges to ongoing customer liquidity issues, while invoice disputes affected mainly the consumer durables sector.
Cash flow protection: the critical challenge for US companies
- A major worry among the surveyed US companies is the potential of a prolonged global economic downturn affecting their business during the months ahead. Consumer durables companies expressed particular anxiety about fluctuating interest rates affecting various aspects of their business.
- US companies polled told us that cash flow issues and liquidity shortfalls arising from B2B trade would be the critical challenge during the coming months. This concern highlights the need for companies to implement effective cash flow management strategies to safeguard their financial health.
Despite the US economy
faring well thanks to the effective monetary policies of the central bank, the remainder of 2023 and 2024 could pose some challenges both globally and domestically due to tighter lending standards, monetary policy shifts, expected fiscal changes, and inventory volatility. These factors may erode confidence among US businesses, fostering uncertainty and leading to cautious decision-making in B2B trade as well.
As our survey reveals that nearly all US companies polled anticipate surge in demand for their products and services in the year ahead, it is key that businesses vigilantly monitor these factors, uphold financial flexibility, and make well-informed decisions within the evolving business environment, supported also by strategic credit management to successfully navigate potential economic headwinds and seize the business growth opportunities they expect
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 the US and North America (USMCA), 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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