Frankfurt / Main (dpa / lnw) - A good every tenth company in North Rhine-Westphalia (10.8 percent) does not pay bills on time or not at all, according to the latest figures from the Crifbürgel credit agency.

The average delay in payment in December was 30 days, Crifbürgel analyzed on the basis of data on the payment behavior of more than 450,000 companies throughout Germany.

In January 2020, when shortly before the pandemic broke out in Germany and many economic sectors were in trouble, the number of companies that did not pay their bills on time was 14 percent.

On the other hand, the average delay in payment was significantly lower at “only” 26 days.

"Companies that are still doing well economically have a high willingness to pay and do not want to fall into arrears under any circumstances," said Crifbürgel managing director Frank Schlein, explaining the development, which at first glance seems contradictory.

With its numbers, NRW is pretty much in line with the national average.

Nationwide, 10.5 percent of companies owed bills in December.

The average delay in payment was 35.5 days.

In the hospitality industry in particular, which is currently suffering from the lockdown again, invoices remained open for a comparatively long time (average delay 77.6 days).


According to the data for December, companies in Berlin exceed the deadline for paying bills the most, by an average of 68.4 days.

According to Crifbürgel, the situation was best in Thuringia: companies in the Free State only pay 19.6 days late on average.

With 26.1 percent in December, the federal capital Berlin also took the inglorious top position in terms of the quota of non-paying and late payers among companies.

Accordingly, payment practices are currently best in Thuringia: According to the latest information, only 6.5 percent of companies did not pay bills or paid them late.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210123-99-138631 / 2