Poland Payment Survey 2023: Slightly shorter payment delays but not for all sectors
The eighth edition of Coface’s survey on payment experience in Poland was carried out in October 2023 with 341 companies participating in the study. At that time, the economic situation was relatively gloomy with negative growth rates recorded consecutively in the first and second quarter of 2023. There has been economic improvement in the last months of this year, however, it has been slow and gradual as the regional environment remains adverse. Coface estimates GDP growth in Poland to reach only 0.6% in 2023, and then accelerate to 2.8% in 2024, which would still be below the potential growth rate of the Polish economy.
Despite economic challenges and fading resilience to various headwinds, the general picture on payment liquidity in Poland remains favourable. Our study shows that Polish companies experienced average payment delays of 48.7 days, i.e. 3 days less than in our previous survey. Average
payment delays dropped close to the level recorded in 2020 (48.0 days), but this time companies have not benefited from the wide scale of support measures that had been introduced during the pandemic. Although the average shows a shortening of payment delays, it was not the case in all sectors, as energy-intensive ones recorded longer overdue. Those include paper-wood, metals and energy, while textile-clothing and ICT also reported longer payment delays as they face eroded consumer disposable income, with households focusing mostly on spending on daily necessities and not durable goods. On the other hand, the largest improvement in the shortening of payment delays was recorded in the agri-food sector, while the shortest payment delays were reported by pharmaceuticals.
According to our survey, all sectors anticipate that the amount of outstanding receivables will increase in the coming months. This reflects the fact that the macroeconomic improvement is transferred to microeconomics with a delay.
Although the Polish economy already started improving in late 2023, companies still reported various crucial challenges that they experienced, including limited demand and fiscal burden, while high costs still reduce their profits. Furthermore, even if the domestic economy recovers in 2024, the slowdown (if not recession) in Western Europe in the first half of the year could have adverse effects on the baseline scenario related to economic and business activity.