A  new report by trade credit insurer Atradius has revealed the top trading risks within Eastern Europe’s major markets.  The report reveals that despite the end of a technical recession in Turkey, economic growth is forecast to level off this year (0.1%) and a 10% increase in business insolvencies is expected. Payment delays and default risks have increased in the construction segment, fuelled by overcapacity and rising costs. Credit risk has increased in the retail sector while factors including overcapacity and decreasing demand are causing liquidity bottlenecks for retailers and wholesalers.

Meanwhile, economic growth is expected to accelerate to 3.5% in Bulgaria in 2019, driven by stronger exports and growing domestic demand; slowing to 3% in 2020.

In the Czech Republic, which has the UK as its fourth biggest export market, GDP is expected to increase at a slower pace (2.6% in 2019, 1.9% in 2020) following a period of robust growth supported by improved international competitiveness. At more than 75%, the Czech Republic’s export-to-GDP ratio is one of the highest in the EU making it more vulnerable to major foreign trade losses, exchange rate appreciation and declines in external demand.

In Greece, forecast economic growth (1.7% in 2019, 2.0% in 2020) will be mainly driven by domestic consumption, with increasing employment and rising wages encouraging growth in private consumption.

The Eastern Europe Country Report is designed for businesses trading, or considering trading, with Eastern Europe and enables firms to access key information about their overseas market. Advice from Atradius urges businesses to ensure that they are equipped with up to date and accurate market information before entering into a trading relationship.

As part of a suite of trade publications, the new country report focuses on the economic and political environment, key performance indicators and political risk rating in nine Eastern European markets and provides a performance outlook of the major industries. The countries featured are Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Turkey.

Tanya Giles, Regional manager for Wales and South West at Atradius said “Successful businesses understand that time invested in research is key to identifying potential markets for growth. The economic and political landscape is a major influence on performance at a market level, on sectors and on individual business. In today’s uncertain economic environment, risks can evolve quickly. It is essential for businesses to equip themselves with the right information and put the right measures in place – including risk mitigation, protection from non-payment and expert advice – if they want to succeed.”