Coface has noted a marked worsening in the payment behavior of Italian companies. These companies have traditionally had a higher rate of non-payments than those in other European countries and since the start of the crisis this gap has widened. In 2007, the rate was 3 times greater than in France, it is now 7 times higher.

“Coface has revised its 2013 growth forecasts for Italy downwards to -1.7%.  The marked worsening in payment behaviour of companies we have been seeing since the start of the crisis is not solely a result of the current economic difficulties. It arises from structural problems, including the preponderance within the economic fabric of extremely precarious small companies and the very long payment period within the public sector.

The decision of the Italian government to deal with some of these delays is good news. The country also has a considerable advantage: a varied specialisation adapted to meet the demand from the dynamic emerging economies. However only profound reforms will enable it to capitalise on this significant potential”, explains Yves Zlotowski, Chief Economist at Coface.

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