Global Trade Survey 2023
The risk of
payment default
is on the rise!

Germany is in recession, the United States will be also in recession later in the year. Only a weak growth for the EU. In this context, our research department has focused on exports. We asked 3,000 exporters from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK and the US about their expectations. Important result: 40% of exporters fear an increase in the risk of payment default in 2023. This is an increase of +11% compared to our study in 2022.

Companies remain reasonably positive, although optimism is down from last year. For 2023, around 70% of exporters expect their sales to grow year-over-year, up from 80% in 2022. This is in line with our own vision of global trade in 2023: we expect a moderate growth of +0.7%, last year it was still +3.8%. If we look at the value of exports, we see a decrease this year (-0.1% against +9.7% in 2022).

Companies are less eager to enter new markets and prefer consolidating existing markets. 63% of respondents say they will invest more in countries where they are already present, while only 47% plan to invest in new countries. In export, more than 55% of companies plan to gain market share in the countries where they are present, while 52% want to diversify and target new countries.

Compared to last year, exporters expect an increase in payment terms (42% against 31%). The negative outliers are the United States and the United Kingdom. In these countries, 50% expect payment terms to be extended. Risk of payment default is considered the highest in the UK, Germany and France.

The causes of the increase in payment delays and in payment defaults are diverse. Companies are facing decreasing demand, shrinking margins due to rising costs and borrowing money has also become more expensive. Another factor is that companies are still facing disruptions in the supply chain.

Almost 75% of respondents say that logistical barriers and high transportation costs are holding back exports. Exporters are the most affected in Germany, Italy and Poland. Companies in the United States and Spain are affected by the tightening of credit conditions. High energy prices remain the biggest challenge for businesses in the UK this year. In France, companies are the most concerned about the risk of payment default.

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