Czechs have historically not had a stellar reputation as prompt payers. But that situation appears to be changing now.
Whereas seven years ago only three out of 10 Czech bills were paid within the common 60 day deadline, that figure has now climbed to just around half. The exact figure is now 44.7 percent. Payment within one month of the deadline having passed happens in 49.3 percent of cases and longer than on average 6.0 percent of cases.
The average proportion of Europeans paying on time comes to 40 percent, a figure that has not moved much in recent years.
The Czech Republic now finds itself placed between the best performers in Europe - the likes of Germany and Denmark where the so-called payment morality comes at around 80 percent. At the other end of the scale are the likes of Romania and Portugal, where payments in time are made in less than 20 percent of cases.
One reason for the improvement in the Czech performance is the overall improvement of the economy which means that many companies which after the economic crisis in 2008 often lacked ready cash on hand or for quick use on account or faced tough bank overdraught conditions no longer face such problems. For that reason, a further improvement in the Czech performance is regarded as likely over the second half of this year.
A payment delay of 60 days was established by the European Parliament in 2013 with it expected to be binding unless different terms were agreed between companies or supplier and customer. In some countries, such as Belgium, it is fairly common for interest to be charged on bills which fail to be paid in time.
Across Czech business sectors, the companies with the best prompt payment record are those in services, financial services, farming and retail. The worst payers are in the construction and engineering sectors.