2023 Q3 – Payment Behavior of European Companies


The average payment delay of European companies decreased to 12.05 days in the third quarter of 2023, according to the Study of the Payment Behavior of European Companies* conducted by INFORMA D&B SAU (SME), (subsidiary company of Cesce, leader in the provision of Commercial, Financial, Sectoral and Marketing Information). This represents a decrease of 0.42 days since the previous quarter, and a little more, 0.56, in a year.

The average delay in payments in Europe grew throughout 2020. However, in 2021 the opposite trend began and remained low until the last quarter where it increased, but now it has fallen again. Four countries increased their data since a year ago: Spain (0.43 days), Germany (0.74 days), Belgium (1.87 days) and France (1.42 days), while in others they decreased .

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The average delay of Spanish companies in the third quarter of 2023, 14.88 days, decreased by 0.18 days compared to the previous three months, although it is still higher than the European one, with a difference of 2.82 days , lower than more than 3 in the first quarter of the year. However, it increased by 1 day from last year, when it was 1.84 days.

Nathalie Gianese, Director of Research at INFORMA D&B, emphasizes that:

“The average late payment of European companies fell to 12.05 in the third quarter of the year, the lowest record since 2011.”

Countries that pay much later than the European average

Portugal, with a delay of 22.92 days in this third quarter, is the country that lags behind, although it remains 1.27 days a year.

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Italy follows, with a delay of 16.11 days, 0.40 days less than a year ago and, after Spain, France, with a delay exceeding 14 days (14.21) for the first time since the end of 2021 .

The delay in Britain continues a declining trend, decreasing by 1.85 days a year, to remain at 13.04.

Countries that pay with less delay than the European average

Ireland had the biggest reduction of the countries studied, cutting 2.98 days a year, and staying at 11.96 days. Belgium improved both compared to the previous quarter and a year ago, adding 1.87 days to reach 11.75, the highest figure since the first quarter of 2021. Germany increased by 6.53 days delay.

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The Netherlands continues to record the lowest average delay, 3.96 days, which continues a continuous decrease since the beginning of 2022, 0.62 days less than a year ago.

The difference between the country that pays the best and the one that makes the worst increased to 18.96 days in the third quarter of the year, slightly more than 18.93 in the previous quarter but lower than 19.61 days reached a year ago the past.