Sweden: widespread use of trade credit

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Sweden
  • Construction,
  • Consumer Durables,
  • Metals,
  • Steel

24th November 2021

Businesses polled in Sweden expect to see an increase in the frequency of credit sales, largely as a way of providing short-term finance for their B2B customers.


The Swedish economy is rebounding. Most projections predict GDP growth to reach between 3% and 4% by the end of 2021. Business confidence is high with the vast majority of businesses in the industries we polled, expecting growth next year. The insolvency forecast is low and business confidence may be further buoyed by the fact that government stimulus packages will continue until the end of this year. However, when we dig deeper into the experiences of the individual industries we polled for this year’s Payment Practices Barometer survey, some results stand out.

Key takeaways from the report

  • 51% of all B2B sales of the businesses polled in Sweden involved trade credit, chiefly on the domestic market. More businesses told us they accepted requests for trade credit (40%) than those who reported refusals (19%).
  • Possibly reflecting the current trends favouring use of credit in B2B trade, nearly half of the businesses polled in the country told us they increased payment terms granted to B2B customers this year.
  • Perhaps reflecting the increase in payment terms, a significant number of businesses polled told us that it took them longer to convert invoices to cash than last year.
  • Longer payment timings from B2B customers affected nearly 60% of the total value of the B2B invoices issued by the businesses we polled.
  • However, looking ahead into 2022, most businesses expect to see an increase in the frequency of credit sales, largely as a way of providing short-term finance for customers. Nearly one third told us they plan to take out a credit insurance policy.

Interested in getting to know more?

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

  • Construction materials
  • Consumer durables
  • Steel/Metals

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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