The Sidetrade tracker showed that sectors least impacted by the crisis include the food industry (19% invoices over 10 days overdue), retail (22%) and manufacturing (23%).

The Sidetrade tracker analyses twelve business sectors and, as of 25 May, the UK sectors hardest hit by payment delays tied to the crisis are:

  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, where 76% of invoices are over 10 days overdue.
  • Information, communication, and technology (ICT), where 60% of invoices are over 10 days overdue.
  • Leisure and hospitality, where 55% of invoices are over 10 days overdue.

Finance, insurance, real estate, and ICT were areas where late payment rate was already high prior to the pandemic, at 56% and 53% respectively.

Evidence from the Sidetrade tracker shows a strong correlation between payment behaviour and economic activity. The latest tracker release is the first to see the effect of exit from lockdown. With 38% unpaid invoices as of 25 May 2020, the UK has seen a slight improvement in customer-supplier relations.

This is the first positive effect of lockdown exit. Nonetheless, the unpaid rate remains extremely high, representing a threat for many businesses. Late payment deterioration in the UK rose more than 26%.