However, this fall was not uniform over the year, and a slight increase in the average late payment was noted in the fourth quarter, at 17.9 days.

The sector

There was little change in the ranking. Construction saw a slight improvement in its average late payment indicator, with -5% vs. -3% nationally. The sector remains the "bad pupil" with an average late payment of 22.4 days, twice as late as the Trade sector (11.2 days).

The Electricity, Education and Real Estate sectors are benefiting from the biggest improvements in payment behavior.

Other sectors are seeing more modest improvements: Human health and social work, Manufacturing and Arts, entertainment and recreation.

Company categories

The best performers continue to be the very small businesses that most frequently pay their invoices on or before the due date. By the end of 2023, these accounted for just 62% of all invoices processed by MSEs, compared with 67% at the start of the year.

As a mechanical effect, the proportion of minor delays (1 to 30 days) rose from 26% to 28% of total invoices processed by very small businesses.

ETIs and large companies remain the least respectful of deadlines, with slight and systemic delays throughout the year. Only 22% to 27% of invoices are paid on time.