USMCA companies face a notable uptick in late payments, with an average 13% increase from the previous year, particularly impacting Canada.
The major concern for businesses polled in the USMCA region is a significant deterioration in the payment behaviour of B2B customers, with the potential for a negative impact on liquidity and cashflow. Late payments increased by an average 13% on the previous year, and in Canada they rose by 30%. The level of bad debts also showed an upward trend in both the US and Canada, prompting companies across all sectors to implement strong measures to mitigate the impact of customer credit risk amid a challenging economic environment.
A majority of companies in the USMCA region spent more time and resources chasing unpaid invoices as they strengthened internal credit control procedures. The length of payment terms granted to B2B customers was tightened, and there was also a drop in the level of B2B sales transacted on credit as businesses tried to protect themselves against liquidity shortfalls. When they sought external finance most companies polled said they preferred to borrow through supplier credit rather than rely on more costly bank loans.
The effects of the persistent inflation, and uncertainty surrounding volatile energy and commodity prices, is a key concern for businesses in the USMCA region as they look ahead to the coming months. Companies polled said they were worried this could bring increased costs as well as having a ripple effect on other industries and affecting supply chain dynamics. Alongside these worries, companies were also apprehensive about liquidity shortages due to potential cash flow gaps resulting from delayed payments in B2B trade. Despite these worries, a sense of optimism for the future was found in our survey among USMCA companies.
These were among the main messages from businesses polled across the USA, Mexico and Canada in the 2023 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey for USMCA.
To gain deeper insights into the survey findings for the region and each market, detailed reports are available for download in the 2023 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey for the USMCA at the following link https://group.atradius.com/publications/