The Business Confidence Index for the 1st quarter shows that demand is set to remain strong through the first quarter of 2024, but new risks give pause for thought.

The Berne Union (BU) recently published the Business Confidence Index for Q1. 

Important results at a glance

  • Despite a slowdown in global trade, demand for export credit insurance was high in the first quarter of 2024. Transactions relating to critical minerals is one driver of growth.

  • Multiple BU members report claim levels in line with a return to pre-pandemic levels of insolvencies.

  • The global challenges remain significant. Concerns arise from new economic reforms in Argentina and FX issues in indebted emerging economies, Middle East tensions and transport disruptions in the Red Sea as well as restrictions in the Panama Canal.

  • With rising geopolitical tensions and the prevailing uncertainty a further boost in demand for both public and private providers of export credit and investment insurance is expected.

As Austria's official Export Credit Agency 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, monitoring the development of competitors, discussing ideas for innovations in products and processes, coordinating the approach to joint projects with other ECAs and concluding cooperation agreements.

About the Business Confidence Index

The BU’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.