19 Apr 2012

Firms paying their bills faster

11:15 am on 19 April 2012

Companies took 45 days to pay their accounts in the March quarter.

That's almost a day faster than at the same time last year, and four days faster than three years ago.

The analysis of trade payments was done by credit reporting firm Dun Bradstreet, whose corporate affairs general manager, Danielle Woods, says the figures provide further evidence that the economy is on a slow and steady path to recovery.

Ms Woods says Christchurch firms were the fastest to pay their bills, with Auckland and Wellington firms averaging 46.2 days.

Smaller companies continue to be faster payers than their larger counterparts.

She points out the 45-day average is still well above the standard 30-day repayment time but says it is a good sign and is optimistic payment times will continue to fall.

One firm paying quicker can then allow the next business to pay its suppliers quicker, Ms Woods says, and more and more firms get into this positive spiral and they get an improved cashflow cycle which will flow through ideally to the whole of the New Zealand economy.