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EXPORT TRADE DATA - Quarterly non-payment review

The UK’s non-payment situation seems to have stabilised below the general European level. Since the beginning of the year, the level of non-payment is low, with a high level of recovery and a low level of insolvency.

All Charts: % of export trade creditors seriously overdue

After the unusually low level of non-payment at the end of last year, the start of 1997 in Germany was characterised by a rise as a direct consequence of an increase in relatively small bankruptcies.

Since March the level has stabilised. However, textile and building sectors still seem to be problem areas.

The Spanish level of non-payment was particularly high last year due to four large cases. 1997 is fairly stable and gradually improving, getting closer to the European average.

The level of non-payment has been continuously increasingly since autumn 1996 largely because of a mild winter being followed by bad spring weather. Personal bankruptcies remain one of the country’s main economic problems, with the retail sector being one of the worst affected.

Since the beginning of 1997, Italy’s non-payment levels have been gradually decreasing. This has been accompanied by a general economic improvement, characterised by an increase of consumer consumption, investment and a return to a positive balance of international trade.

Since the end of last year, the level of non-payments in Belgium has improved, along with a general improvement in consumer spending, unemployment and an increase in purchasing power. However, a few uncertainties are present regarding exchange rates.

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