The current Business Confidence Index shows that both claims and risk appetite in the export credit and investment insurance industry are normalising. Impending sovereign defaults and geopolitical hot spots are the biggest challenges.

Business Confidence Index published

Berne Union (BU) recently published the Business Confidence Index for the third quarter of 2023. The Berne Union’s Business Confidence Index was launched in 2021, with the objective to provide a continuous indicator of the overall perception of demand, risk appetite and claims in the export credit insurance industry. The Index is based on quarterly snapshots of BU Members’ assessment of their current and imminent business situation with respect to these factors.

Important results at a glance

  • Demand for short-term export credit insurance has been subdued so far in 2023 and will only increase minimally in the third quarter.
  • Although record levels of foreign direct investment were reported in the first half of the year, demand for longer-term investment insurance has declined. According to industry estimates, demand for medium and long-term coverage will remain weak in the third quarter.
  • BU members are preparing for a sharp increase in claims payments from short-term business. In medium/long-term business, however, new losses are declining for the first time since 2021.
  • The risk appetite of private credit insurers remains cautious and is at its lowest level since the first quarter of 2022. The public providers of export credit insurance are maintaining their risk appetite. High-risk sectors such as the textile industry and non-food retail as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict are causing increased caution.
  • The biggest challenges for global trade continue to be geopolitical. In addition, there are concerns about sovereign defaults due to gloomy macroeconomic forecasts.

You can download the entire report here:

About Berne Union

The Berne Union is the international association of private and public export credit and investment insurers. The 85 members collectively insure approximately 12% of global cross-border trade. OeKB has been a member of the BU since 1954. In the BU, OeKB represents the interests of the Austrian export industry by, among other things, observing the development of competition, discussing ideas for innovations in products and processes, coordinating the approach to joint projects with other export credit agencies and concluding cooperation agreements.