Amsterdam, 1 December 2014 – Atradius expects insolvencies to remain high despite improving economic growth
Insolvencies in many European economies are expected to remain well above 2007 levels in 2014 and 2015 according to Atradius Credit Insurance N.V
The global economic outlook has deteriorated in the past six months. The pace of growth in the Eurozone and China has been weaker than expected and the intensification of geopolitical crises regarding Russia and the surge of IS in the Middle East have undermined international confidence.
The early 2014 outlook has been dampened primarily by disappointing performance in the Eurozone. Persistent structural imbalances and low inflation have held back growth and highlight the fragile nature of the euro area’s economic recovery. Despite some improvement in 2014, bankruptcies rose in France, Italy, and Greece, and the average insolvency rate for the Eurozone remains twice as high as the 2007 rate. In the periphery, that figure remains over 3.5 times 2007 levels.
Emerging markets are also expected to see increasing bank failures. Capital outflows, lower commodity prices, and slow growth in advanced markets are restraining economic growth, subsequently putting upward pressure on the bankruptcy rate. Latin America’s economic outlook has deteriorated significantly as Brazil, its largest economy, is expected to stagnate. Finally, economic growth in China is beginning to cool down which will put upward pressure on insolvencies.
Economic performances in the US, UK, and Asia are underpinning global growth. The US is experiencing a broad-based economic recovery. As a result, annual business failures in the US have fallen over the past few years. Further improvement in the insolvency rate is not expected in 2015. The UK’s recovery is also gaining ground and business failures are projected to decrease by 3%. Like the US, the level of insolvencies in the UK, are expected to plateau in 2015. Insolvency rates in the US and UK remain 5% and 16% higher than in 2007.
John Lorié Chief Economist for Atradius commented, “Global economic performance disappointed in 2014 with lower than expected growth while insolvencies have fallen in most markets, but remain high and above pre-crisis levels. While the economic recoveries in the US, UK, and Japan continued, the Eurozone economy fell short due to persistent structural vulnerabilities and low inflation which are undermining the recovery. Emerging markets paint a mixed picture, with Latin America and Eastern Europe seeing slower growth, but Asian economic expansion remaining strong. Reduced growth in the global economy creates a more challenging global business environment, putting upward pressure on the number of business failures, leading us to anticipate stagnation in insolvency levels in most markets in 2015.”
The Atradius Group provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide and has a presence through more than 160 offices in 50 countries. Atradius has access to credit information on 100 million companies worldwide. Its products help protect companies throughout the world from payment risks associated with selling products and services on credit.
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