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Record low payment times despite mixed signals PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Australian businesses settled their invoices at a record pace for the fourth consecutive quarter with an average rate of 43.7 days for the first three months of 2016. The result is a slight improvement on the previous quarter’s average of 44.1 days, and is almost 7 days faster than the prior corresponding period’s 50.4 days, as revealed by Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Trade Payments Analysis. 

The results come during a period of mixed economic signals, and as revealed by Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey results so far in 2016, in an environment marked by increasingly cautious sentiment amongst businesses leading into the Federal election.

Apparent in the analysis is the existence of disparate trade payments behaviour based on business size. On one hand, small to medium sized businesses are clearly cashed up through low borrowing costs, relatively low input costs and non-existent wage growth, and are paying their invoices with unprecedented swiftness. Businesses with between 6 and 19 staff settled their invoices at the fastest average rate of 40.2 days. This is despite a rise in business failures recorded over the same period.

Conversely, those businesses with more than 500 employees are flexing their muscle and paid their invoices at the slowest average rate of 52.4 days.

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