Bulgaria: ongoing impacts of pandemic cloud outlook

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Bulgaria
  • Agriculture,
  • Automotive/Transport,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Food

1st December 2021

Despite a fairly robust GDP growth outlook for next year, confidence of the businesses polled across Bulgaria is muted.


Bulgaria's GDP is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021 and further growth is predicted for 2022, driven largely by consumer demand. Despite this fairly robust outlook, business confidence is muted. Among the three industries we polled in this year’s Payment Practices Barometer survey, the transport sector expressed the most confidence in growth, with both agri-food and chemicals trailing behind and showing far less optimism. Overall, the industries we polled in Bulgaria showed a slight increase in the use of credit this year, but this is still far below the volume of transactions traded on a cash basis.

Key takeaways from the report

  • Based on responses from the businesses polled in Bulgaria, credit sales to B2B customers increased slightly to 42% of all B2B sales, up from 40% last year. Trade credit was offered most often to stimulate sales growth and encourage repeat business.
  • 42% of the total value of B2B invoices were reported overdue this year, a small increase on last year’s 37%. Long overdue invoices (more than 90 days late) also increased year-on-year from 4% last year to 6% this year. Write-offs were also recorded at 6%, up from 2% last year.
  • When it comes to credit risk management, businesses polled across Bulgaria most often opted to mitigate the impact of customer credit risk on the business by setting aside funds to offset potential losses caused by bad debts.
  • However, for a significant number of the businesses polled (48%), reliance on their own credit management resources proved be more costly than last year, as they incurred increased administrative, collections and finance costs.
  • Besides proving costly, reliance on in-house credit management did not prove significantly effective in containing DSO. 43% reported DSO increases.
  • Looking into 2022, 60% of the businesses we spoke to told us that they are worried about the downside risks associated with the continuation of the pandemic into next year, possibly prolonging the downturn of the global economy and hampering the rebound of the domestic economy.
  • When asked which pandemic-induced changes will become a permanent feature of the way they do business, 57% told us they had already permanently integrated digital innovation, particularly in terms of e-commerce and enabled their employees to work from home.

Interested in getting to know more?

The Payment Practices Barometer report for Bulgaria gives insights into B2B payment practices and businesses' approach to the management of customer credit risk in the following local industries:

  • Agri-food
  • Chemicals
  • Transport

For a complete overview, please download the full country report available in the Related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix and regional Payment Practices Barometer survey results are also available free to download.

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