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March MarketMonitor


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The immediate outlook for key markets and sectors

Every month, Atradius brings you an up to the minute snapshot report on a range of export markets and key trade sectors. Our underwriters have a specialist view of the world economy – and the industries that make that economy tick - that you won’t find in the general press coverage of events.

Even more importantly, our underwriters use their expertise and experience to look to the future. In each edition of Atradius Market Monitor you’ll find our outlook for a number of key market economies.

In this issue…
…we feature the following markets:
Italy – with a spotlight on the metals and textiles sectors
Switzerland – with a spotlight on the banking and automotive sectors

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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March MarketMonitor

  1. 1. marketmonitor adapting to the challenging economic environment March 2009 The immediate outlook for key markets and sectors Every month, Atradius brings you an up to the minute snapshot report on a range of export markets and key trade sectors. Our underwriters have a specialist view of the world economy – and the industries that make that economy tick - that you won’t find in the general press coverage of events, so we hope that you will find our summary reviews a useful addition to your Atradius credit insurance. Even more importantly, our underwriters use their expertise and experience to look to the future. In each edition of Atradius Market monitor you’ll find our outlook for a number of key market economies. In this issue… …we feature the following markets: Italy – with a spotlight on the metals and textiles sectors Switzerland – with a spotlight on the banking and automotive sectors Sweden Hungary Russia Canada China Australia Atradius 1
  2. 2. Expected default in Western Europe and USA One of the most important factors that any business needs to know is the trend of insolvencies in their markets. The following Expected Default Frequency (EDF) chart is based on listed companies in the markets referred to, and the likelihood of default across all sectors within the next year. In this context, default is defined as a failure to make a scheduled payment, or the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings. Probability of default is calculated from three factors: market value of a company’s assets, its volatility and its current capital structure. As a guide, the probability of one firm in a hundred defaulting on payment is shown as 1% Source: Atradius Economic Research and KMV Credit Monitor The deteriorating global economic environment translates into an increase in insolvencies. As confirmed by the EDF indicators, insolvencies are predicted to increase steeply across all major economies in 2009. The heightened default expectation has been evident since mid-2007 (see chart above). This development suggests an accelerating default risk for all major Western economies. In January 2009, the median EDF of nearly all major Western economies rose again compared to the previous month, with sharp increases recorded for Italy and the US, while Germany and the Netherlands recorded modest increases. The EDF for the UK has decreased somewhat, but there is no reason for complacency, as it still remains very high. On the following pages, we assess the impact of expected default in key markets Atradius 2
  3. 3. Italy The current business environment After years of stagnation or simply modest growth, Italy is facing its most severe economical and liquidity crisis for 60 years. According to Consensus Forecasts, real GDP-growth contracted by 0.5% in 2008 and is forecast to shrink further by 1.6% in 2009. The Italian Central Bank has even forecast a 2.6% contraction this year. Despite the dynamism of Italian entrepreneurism the business environment has deteriorated sharply over the last 6 months. Private consumption is down (retail sales decreased by -1.9% at the end of 2008) and exports as a traditional asset of the Italian economy are dropping, as its main export partners like the USA, Germany and the Eastern European countries experience their own downturn. The industry is facing severe overcapacity, showing high inventory levels and orders down by 40 to 50%. In 2008, industrial production decreased by 14.3% year-on-year. A remarkable sign of the difficulties seen at all levels is the number of hours of temporary work lay-offs, which doubled between October 2008 and January 2009. As the Italian government is heavily indebted (public debt amounts to 110% of GDP), it is constrained in helping the economy with stimulus packages. In 2008 the number of insolvencies doubled compared to 2007, with Southern Italy being hit particularly badly, and small companies mainly affected. We are now seeing an explosion of the number of late payments and payment plans, mainly in the metal sector. In general, debtors prefer to leverage suppliers rather than mobilising more of their own bank facilities. Even blue chip companies are ignoring due dates and massively delaying payments to their suppliers. The outlook for Italy In the forthcoming months business sentiment will show no improvement. It is expected that industry orders will continue to drop until the fourth quarter of 2009. This year we forecast a continuous increase in payment issues and corporate insolvencies, which will in future increasingly affect medium and large-sized businesses. Compared to December 2008, Italy’s Expected Default Frequency indicator rose again in January 2009, from 1.29% to 1.39%. Since January 2008 (0.17%) it has increased sharply (see chart page 2). Atradius 3
  4. 4. Spotlight on industries in Italy Metals How has the global economic downturn impacted the metals industry? Italy is the third largest steel producer in Europe after Russia and Germany and has experienced years of very high growth, capacity investments and financial strengthening, until mid-2008. But now that has all changed. The production of metals and metal products decreased by 22% in 2008 and in January 2009 Italy’s crude steel production plunged by 40% year-on-year. The global downturn in automotive, construction and home appliances is dramatically impacting the Italian metallurgic industry, which is now struggling with massive overcapacity. What is the current trend in payment delays, payment defaults and insolvencies and why? In this industry, payment behaviour has deteriorated steeply. Metal industries today represent the largest percentage of payment defaults observed in north and central Italy. Late payments to suppliers are effectively used as a way to improve working capital. Even well financed organisations are now using delaying tactics in paying their suppliers. What should companies selling products into the metals industry pay particular attention to? Most importantly, to the payment terms offered and to the concentration of a buyer’s own customers portfolios in sectors like automotive, construction or white goods. Selling to a large-sized company can also leave the seller at a disadvantage unless the contractual arrangements are well framed. What is Atradius short term outlook for the metals sector? We believe that the situation will continue to deteriorate. Orders for the forthcoming months are desperately down and indeed flat. It will take a long time for the market to absorb the production capacities created by the ambitious investment programmes of the past. There will be severe difficulties in meeting the repayment schedules of medium/long term debts, resulting in increasing pressure on the suppliers to accommodate payments. As Italian metal companies have significantly bolstered their capitalisation over the past years they can stand this situation for another 2 to 4 months, but, after that, large scale defaults and insolvencies can be expected. Atradius 4
  5. 5. Spotlight on industries in Italy Textiles How has the global economic downturn impacted the textile industry? Since 2008 all segments of the Italian textile sector and fashion chains have suffered due to the decreasing demand for textile products, both domestically and abroad. Last year the industry recorded a 3% drop of sales. Most affected are low range products and labels that were previously boosted by “fast fashion” habits. Retail shops registered sales down by 20% to 40% in 2008 with very high unsold inventories - also a consequence of e-commerce success. Luxury niches are also suffering and face problems financing their large marketing budgets as even wealthy clients rein in their spending habits. It is estimated that the production of shoes went down by 10.2% in 2008, and this has severely hit plastics producers and chemical components distributors in the shoe soles segment. Synthetic fibre industries are now landed with high inventories, acquired at the time of low raw material prices, poor margins for products and flat demand. Export sales to the US, Germany, Spain, Asia, and the Middle-East are impacted by the drop in demand from those countries. What is the current trend in payment delays, payment defaults and insolvencies and why? The industry is calling for massive public support, as we see a sharp increase in defaults and insolvencies in the local specialised districts like Marche (shoes), Prato (low-medium range clothing) or even Biella (wool and medium-high range production). Some large groups operating luxury licences are currently close to default. The leather subsector is demonstrating a sharp increase in payment defaults connected to the automotive and furniture industries. What should companies selling products into the textile industry pay particular attention to? The size of the company is an important factor. The industry consists of a myriad of very small family-owned businesses that may now face more funding difficulties. A company’s customer portfolio is also a key element to look at, as risks will be higher when delivering to the automotive sector or to low range brands clothing retail. What is Atradius short term outlook for the textile sector? The textile industry is the second largest manufacturing industry in Italy. Because of its importance, it is most likely to benefit from public support. But this may not solve the problem of low consumption. Therefore we remain cautious on this sector, mainly because the average company is very small and therefore exposed more than others to the effect of the crisis. Atradius 5
  6. 6. Switzerland The current business environment While the Swiss economy was robust until October 2008, since November it has been increasingly affected by the global downturn due to its high dependence on exports. Two exceptions are private consumption, which is expected to increase by 1.2% in 2009, and the luxury goods segment. However, with rising unemployment figures, it is increasingly questionable how long those factors will still sustain the economy. In general a GDP-contraction of 0.6% is expected in 2009. Switzerland is one of the few European countries which registered a decreasing number of corporate insolvencies in 2008 (-2.2% to 4,221). That said, it is worth remembering that the Swiss economy was unaffected by the economic crisis until the fourth quarter of 2008. Since September 2008 the number of corporate insolvencies has increased every month by nearly 20% year-on-year. This development is also reflected in the Expected Default Frequency indicator for Switzerland, which has risen from 0.1% in September 2008 to 0.22% in January 2009. The outlook for Switzerland In line with the EDF indicator, we expect a further rise in corporate insolvencies in 2009, as an increasing number of companies face tighter credit conditions and rising refinancing costs. Most at risk are enterprises that cannot absorb shrinking revenues and profits due to their lower equity base and are therefore in need of external funds to sustain their liquidity. To close their liquidity gaps, firms are increasingly using delaying tactics in paying their suppliers, and we are already seeing a worrying deterioration of payment morale. Those mainly affected by these tactics are small- and medium-sized companies active in export-driven or very competitive sectors. We do not foresee the tide turning in the coming months. Payment defaults will sharply increase as the financial condition of many companies remains tense – especially those in the transport, timber and furniture sectors. In timber and furniture, payment morale is particularly bad Atradius 6
  7. 7. Spotlight on industries in Switzerland Banking How has the global economic downturn impacted the banking sector? The Swiss banking sector is characterised by a dualistic structure, consisting of mainly national oriented banks on the one hand and internationally active giants on the other hand. The credit crisis has deeply shaken the confidence in those high street banks which, due to their sheer size, constitute a main pillar of the Swiss economy. Hard hit by the credit crisis, Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, was bailed out by the government and the Swiss National Bank at the end of last year after clients withdrew deposits worth Swiss francs 85.8 billion. Overall losses in 2008 amounted to Swiss francs 19.7 billion, including 8.1 billion in the last quarter alone. Credit Suisse, as the second-largest Swiss bank, also suffered sizeable losses of Swiss francs 8.2 billion in 2008 – its loss of Swiss francs 6.204 billion in the fourth quarter markedly higher than expected by financial analysts. What is Atradius short term outlook for the banking sector? Switzerland is a financial hub of global importance, and Swiss high street banks are considered to be ’too big to fail’. Therefore, we expect that the government will continue to support Swiss banks to ease liquidity bottlenecks. Atradius 7
  8. 8. Spotlight on industries in Switzerland Automotive How has the global economic downturn impacted the automotive industry? Automotive suppliers were already affected by the economic crisis by autumn 2008. Despite the fact that there is no domestic car production, as suppliers many Swiss companies are dependent on the automotive industry. Since the end of 2008 the supplier sector has been affected by order cancellations, leading to layoffs and extension of Christmas holidays for workers. Now the downturn is affecting car sellers. Since the fourth quarter of 2008, there has been a tremendous deterioration in demand, with new car sales decreasing sharply in November 2008 compared to November 2007. What is the current trend in payment delays, payment defaults and insolvencies and why? Currently payment defaults and the number of insolvencies are still low in the automotive sector, but we expect that in the coming months Swiss companies will not escape the worldwide insolvency trend in this industry. What should companies selling products into the automotive industry pay particular attention to? Suppliers should be aware that a client’s deteriorating payment behaviour may be an early warning indicator of something worse. What is Atradius short term outlook for the automotive sector? We do not foresee a change for the better in the short term. The international orientation of the automotive supplier sub-sector makes it highly dependent on exports and exchange rate fluctuations. A company’s skills in innovation of products and processes, know-how and an equity ratio as high as possible will all be decisive factors for its survival. We expect insolvencies in this sector to increase in the coming months. Atradius 8
  9. 9. Sweden The current business environment Sweden, with its small and open economy, extensive foreign trade and internationally well integrated financial market, is severely affected by the global economic downturn. According to the Swedish Statistic Bureau (SCB), GDP decreased by 4.9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2008. Seasonally adjusted, GDP decreased by 2.4% compared with the third quarter. In the same period, household consumption expenditure plunged by 3.3%, exports decreased by 7.2% and imports by 5.4%. Industrial production shrank by 6.1%. Total manufacturing decreased by 8.3% and service sector industries by 4.8%. According to the National Institute of Economic Research, GDP will drop by about 1% in 2009. Indicators published since December by the Swedish central bank clearly show that the global economic slowdown continues to have a marked effect on Sweden. For example, exports and the inflow of export orders are falling dramatically, and the number of redundancy notices has remained high since last autumn. Capacity utilisation is still falling rapidly. The outlook for Sweden Contracting GDP-growth and diminishing access to credit have led to lower investment and consumption and pressure on export books. The main indicators are negative and we do not expect any recovery in the short- term. Corporate insolvencies increased by 20% in January 2009 compared to January 2008 and are expected to rise further. The indicator for expected default frequency (EDF) has risen from 0.2% in January 2008 to 1.31% in January 2009. Even though EDF is based only on developments in listed companies, it has proved to be a good indicator of future default levels across the whole Swedish corporate sector. Automotive: Swedish automotive suppliers have been severely hit by the crisis. Low demand and the cancellation of orders have led to a strain on finances. A further increase in insolvencies is likely. Construction: Since end of 2008 the demand for homebuilding has dropped and we expect a further increase in insolvencies: mainly of smaller and medium-sized companies. Paper: This is a diversified sector but we expect that sawmills in particular will face problems during 2009, due to low demand, low prices to end customers, continuing high raw material prices and, for some companies, high level of inventory and debt. We also expect that trade sectors dependent on consumer spending will have a difficult 2009, e.g. clothing, furniture, consumer durables and various retail sectors. Atradius 9
  10. 10. Hungary The current business environment After years of private/public sector overspending, resulting in strong GDP-growth, but also in high twin deficits, the economy has fallen into deep recession. A massive multilateral bail-out package was introduced to shore up the forint and strongly eroded international reserves. Domestic demand-oriented sectors are hit by budgetary tightening and industrial exports are negatively affected by the economic meltdown in the eurozone: Hungary exports about 80% to other EU-countries, themselves hit by the recession. Consequently industrial production fell by 23% year-on-year in December 2008. GDP-growth deteriorated steeply in the fourth quarter of 2008. The Hungarian economy is characterized by high commercial credit risks, as nearly 60% of total corporate and household bank loans are denominated in foreign currency (mainly in euros or Swiss francs). The sharp drop in the forint has increased those risks, as the debt service burden for heavily euro-indebted private/public debtors has become much higher. The Construction sector is under considerable strain, as a fourth consecutive year of shrinkage is expected due to falling demand, coupled with tightened project financing conditions (the first direct effects of the financial crisis were a more restrictive credit policy and rising interest rates). The steel and automotive sectors suffer from the worldwide decline in demand. Consumer electronics will no doubt be severely hit by deteriorating consumer spending. All these industries are considered to be high risk sectors in Hungary. The outlook for Hungary Last year the number of insolvencies reached 11,500, an increase of 17.2%, compared to 2007. In January 2009 this trend continued with 1,400 insolvencies, the highest number ever registered in a single month. We expect a further increase this year, with construction, food, consumer durables, IT, and retail sales mainly affected. As the economic crisis deepens, forecasts of Hungary’s economic performance in 2009 are constantly changing. A recent report from the National Bank of Hungary forecasts a 3.5% GDP contraction in 2009. The economy may bottom out in the third quarter, and the international standby-package should stabilize the economy. The strict criteria for the economic policies - permanently monitored by the IMF - will help improve the Hungary’s macro-indicators in the mid-term. Atradius 10
  11. 11. Russia The current business environment The Russian business environment is currently very difficult and unpredictable for a number of reasons, but there are two outstanding issues: the low oil price and the credit crunch. The oil price has a very direct effect on the general health of the economy and it has also been one of the key drivers in the drastic fall in the share price of major Russian corporations. At the current oil price level, the fiscal budget is headed for a deficit this year (above 4% of GDP), and it can be expected that companies dealing with the public sector may incur payment delays due to liquidity shortage among the public buyers. The global credit crunch has hit the fragmented and underdeveloped Russian banking sector extremely hard. Apart from the state-owned giants, Sberbank and Vneshtorgbank, all the Russian banks have serious problems in funding their activities and are very reluctant to provide financing for their corporate clients. Even with full collateral it is not unusual for a company to pay interest rates in excess of 30% on its overdraft facility. Many companies find it impossible to renew their credit facilities at affordable rates and on the level necessary to pay their suppliers on time. Russian consumers are also starting to feel the pinch. Demand for more expensive consumer goods is falling sharply along with the availability of consumer credit. The rouble has been on downward slide against the dollar in recent months and imported goods have therefore become more expensive. Despite a weaker rouble, Russian exporters suffer from severely reduced global demand and world market prices: not just for oil and gas, but also for steel, metals and minerals. Few Russian companies have escaped the negative effects of the current crisis and the market should therefore be treated with the utmost caution at the present time. The outlook for Russia In the coming months, retail sales are expected to continue falling, particularly for the more expensive consumer goods. Construction and property development and metals are particularly problematic sectors. An increase in payment defaults and insolvencies must be expected due to falling external and internal demand and difficulties in securing bank financing. Compared to December 2008, Russia’s Expected Default Frequency indicator rose steeply in January 2009, from 2.83% to 4.29%. Since January 2008 (0.06%) it has increased tremendously. Suppliers should make sure that they have the latest available financial insight into the credit risks. Russian companies must present quarterly financial statements to the tax authorities within the following quarter. Look out for companies with high financial gearing, particularly short-term, but also long-term bank loans, as these can quickly change to short-term. Make sure that the contract is watertight: contracts should refer to Russian courts or international courts of arbitration to be enforceable in Russia, and written documentation is vital to allow legal pursuit of debts. Atradius 11
  12. 12. Canada The current business environment Canada slipped into a deep recession in the final months of 2008, as the economic decline expanded to most sectors across the country. The economy has been further negatively impacted by the collapse of commodity prices, as Canada is still heavily dependent on natural resources. Canada’s current economic situation parallels that of most major economies. The current weakness is being compounded by declining global demand, a deteriorating credit environment and weakening consumer confidence. GDP-growth dropped sharply in the fourth quarter of 2008, falling by 3.4% year-on-year. In December 2008 exports fell by 9.7% year-on-year, the largest monthly decline since 1982. Imports decreased by 5.7% in the same month, tempering the weakening trade balance. Retail sales dropped 5.4% in December - the largest contraction in 15 years. Overall, housing starts decreased by 10.9% in 2008, while employment has fallen by record numbers in the latter half of 2008, with the unemployment rate jumping to a decade high 7.2%. The outlook for Canada Canadian bankruptcies have shown a dramatic increase; in December bankruptcies rose by 47% compared to the previous month, while, on an annualised rate, the increase was 12%. As companies are still in the cost-cutting, employee-downsizing stage, increased insolvencies are expected in the near term. The Expected Default Frequency indicator for Canada has increased tremendously since January 2008 (0.4) - to 4.27 in January 2009. For the current fiscal year, Canada is set to fall into a budget deficit for the first time in more than a decade, as the government pours money into infrastructure projects and tax breaks to stimulate growth. Canada has aggressively managed interest rates and, with inflation remaining below 2%, further rate cuts are expected in the near future. However, despite these all-time low borrowing rates, businesses have complained that Canadian lending institutions are not providing adequate domestic finance. The Canadian economy is expected to contract further through 2009 and is not expected to recover until at least 2010, mirroring the rebound of commodity prices. Atradius 12
  13. 13. China The global economic slowdown impacted heavily on the Chinese economy. Chinese economic growth has fallen significantly from an average 12% in 2007 to 9% in 2008. Growth has been at its weakest level for seven years and has cost the jobs of 20 million migrant workers, adding to the risk of social instability. This sharp contraction is primarily due to decreasing export demand - a significant driver for the Chinese economy. Additional factors such as the strength of the yuan and an increase in the minimum wage have compounded and accelerated the decline. Economic expansion slowed to 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 as trade collapsed and the property market sagged. Overseas shipments fell by 24% in February compared to a year earlier and imports declined by 24% for the same period. The Chinese government has adopted stimulus measures to regenerate the economy. Increasing export tax reimbursement is intended to stimulate foreign trade, while land reforms and lower interest rates should help to stimulate the domestic economy. A four trillion yuan (about 460 billion Euros) investment package was announced by the Chinese government in December 2008 to sustain economic growth over the coming 3 years. The outlook for China A further reduction in growth to just 7% in 2009 is forecast. The stimulus packages will take time to feed through to the economy. As China is very much an export driven economy, growth is to a large extent dependent on the economic recovery of other major trading nations. We see the following sectors as exhibiting higher risk and/or are demonstrating a faster than normal decline. These are also sectors where a rebound is not expected in the short-term. Foodstuffs: One of the biggest challenges faced by China is to restore consumer confidence in this industry. This follows the highly publicised tainted milk scandal. Poor quality control issues that were highlighted have led to the export business of major domestic dairy producers drying up completely. Costs of product recall and compensation have further squeezed profits and liquidity across the industry. Concerns about product safety have also been voiced on sugar, edible oil, meats etc. Atradius 13
  14. 14. China (continued) IT/Electronics: We have seen cooling demand worldwide in this sector. LCD panel over-supply is likely to continue together with falling demand. The IT component sector is also sitting on high levels of overvalued stock because of weak demand. These high levels of stock and market over-supply will take time to feed through to the system. This is an important sector for the Chinese economy but businesses are far from immune from the effects of the global decline in demand. Paper/Printing: The global slowdown has severely curtailed demand for all grades of paper. The plummeting price of scrap paper is threatening the ability of most recycling firms in China to continue. This is mostly used for packaging materials and, with less products to pack, scrap paper is virtually worthless. We have seen contracts frustrated because many businesses are failing to honour payment at the contracted value. Shipbuilding: The shipbuilding sector has been very badly hit by the slowdown in global trade. Orders for ships are being cancelled and new ship orders globally are forecast to fall 60% in 2009. China specialises in producing bulk carriers, but the level of manpower required and increased wage costs is compounding the problem. Steel/Metal: Steel makers are facing dwindling orders, production cuts, declining prices, heavy stocks, and staff layoffs. As we have seen in the paper industry, contracts with steelmakers have been dishonoured after commodity prices collapsed. Textiles and Clothing: The Chinese textile sector has been affected by weaker global demand, higher labour costs, energy shortages, yuan appreciation of 10% per year and reduction of the export VAT rebate. Business failures in the sector are reaching unprecedented levels and there is no sign of a recovery on the horizon. Toy manufacture: The toy sector has been hit by a lack of consumer confidence, increasing supply costs and workers’ wages. Improving quality standards is expensive and has naturally led to a sharp rise in the cost base. All of these factors have conspired to make China an unattractive manufacturing base for the toy sector - which contracted by 70% in 2008. Atradius 14
  15. 15. Australia The current business environment Despite fiscal and monetary measures, the Australian economy recorded a 0.5% contraction of GDP for the fourth quarter of 2008 and is now in recession. Consumer sentiment, along with business and investor confidence, deteriorated further in the last quarter of 2008. The current business environment is one of caution. Firms are concentrating on ensuring they get through the next 12-18 months in good shape and are focusing on bolstering balance sheets, reducing costs, debt, investments and stock levels. Corporate insolvencies for December 2008 and January 2009 are 40% up year-on-year. Agriculture, health, energy and consumer staples, such as food, are ports in an increasingly severe storm. The same cannot be said for the following key sectors: Construction and Construction Materials: Despite an increase in new purchases in January, as a result of reduced interest rates and government stimuli for first time buyers, the sector continues to struggle on the back of high interest rates and low affordability through a lack of supply. The residential construction and materials sector continues to decline and represented 20% of all insolvencies registered in 2008. Poor payment is a key indicator of stress and we recommend that close attention be paid to any deterioration in payments. Consumer Durables and Retail: As consumers save more, retailers are reacting by discounting at the expense of margins and running stock down to minimal levels; fearful that they may not move stock at all. New car sales are down by 22% and Australia’s largest non-food retailer, Harvey Norman, is closing loss making stores. Historically poor performers are first to perish in this environment. Clothing, Footwear & Textiles: This is another sector impacted by discretionary spending as consumers tighten their belts. We expect to see further failures in this sector on top of the recent failures of Herringbone and Melbatex. Mining: The collapse of hard commodity prices such nickel, copper, zinc, lead, iron ore and coal, coupled with virtually paralysed equity markets for these assets, has brought havoc to this sector. Miners who cannot make money at current prices, or need to raise capital to fund their projects, are in real danger of failure. Close attention to the commodity spot price against cash costs is strongly recommended. The outlook for Australia Looking forward, we expect deteriorating profitability and cash flows in most key industries mentioned above as well as in discretionary sectors (travel, leisure and automotive) and for those companies dependent on company/government expenditure or expansion, e.g. IT and service industries. Atradius 15
  16. 16. Atradius Copyright. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this report has been obtained from reliable sources, Atradius is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this document is provided ’as is’, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In no event will Atradius, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereof be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this report or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Atradius 16