Press release: Global risks have not caused deterioration in payment behaviour
Fresh statistical data of Krediidiinfo AS representing the payment behaviour of companies in Estonia reveal that the turbulent events which took place in the world in the second half of 2014 have not affected good payment behaviour of Estonian companies – both the number of enterprises in arrears and the amounts of debts remained stable. No additional risks were taken, and the key words are conservatism and maintaining the status quo.
The total numbers of companies with payment defaults and tax arrears remained virtually the same on the same level as the year before with decrease only within 1%. There were 2,799 companies with payment defaults, and 3,932 had tax arrears.
At the same time, the sums owed by companies to one another (payment defaults) increased slightly (4%) after steep drops, amounting to a total of nearly 44 million euros.
Three quarters of the total amount of payment defaults accumulated in two sectors: over a half (24 million euros) in the real estate sector and another 18% (8 million euros) in the transportation and warehousing sector.
Tax arrears i.e. the sums owed by companies to the state decreased by nearly 15% and amounted to a total of 34.3 million euros. The sectors to experience the most significant decrease in tax arrears were finance and insurance (-65.4%), electricity (-58.7%) and service activities (-54%).
Statistics show that the sector to have suffered from external factors the most was agriculture, forestry and fishing, which saw the increase in both the sums owed to other companies (49%) and to the state (nearly 7%). The sector is also characterised by the largest average amount of payment defaults: 2,540 Euros.
The conservatism prevailing in the market can be adequately described by the very low share of companies with high credit risk (10/7%), which should remain within 12–15 per cent under regular competition conditions. At the same time, the accommodation and catering sector keeps displaying twice as high credit risk as other spheres (22.3%), with one in four companies facing a big threat of going into debt.
The statistics of companies’ payment behaviour are based on the evaluations of Krediidiinfo and the data obtained from the Credit Register and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. The sample consists of 73,807 companies actively operating in Estonia.