The first signs if increases in payment defaults are starting to appear in the Estonian economy as a result of the coronavirus crisis, but the actual impact of the crisis should become apparent in another couple of weeks, analysts from Creditinfo said.
"We consider any debts more than 45 days late to be a payment default," Creditinfo Eesti AS spokesperson Rain Resmeldt Uusen told ERR on Monday. "We are seeing the first signs of an increase in payment defaults, but we believe that the actual impact of the crisis will manifest in the statistics beginning in mid-April and into May, when the actual impact reaches society and businesses' economic indicators."
Creditinfo has noted changes in the behavior of its finance sector clients already, with the focus shifting from issuing new loans to monitoring existing portfolios. "Other sectors' entrepreneurs have already acknowledged the need for more frequent and closer monitoring of its clients and partners," he added.
According to Creditinfo data, a greater increase in payment defaults can be seen in five areas of activity than in others this month. Areas of activity experiencing greater difficulties include agriculture, forestry and fishing; administration; professional, research and technical activities; real estate; and accommodation and catering.
"At the same time, this certainly isn't absolute, and may be coincidental, or, in the case of agriculture, seasonality," Resmeldt Uusen noted. "This is why we are analyzing data on a weekly basis, and also comparing to other countries' data, in order to provide the most correct interpretation possible to potential tendencies."
Editor: Aili Vahtla