The payment performance of businesses in the UK had the biggest month-to-month improvement last month, according to Experian.
The information services company’s Late Payment Index showed that the average number of days that businesses took to settle bills beyond agreed payment terms fell from 24.19 days in July to 23.40 days in August.
This is the biggest month-to-month improvement in 21 months, Experian said.
However, Experian statistics show that firms took on average 5 percent longer to pay their bills in August 2009 compared to August 2008.
In detail, the data show that businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors paid their bills the fastest (11.98 days beyond terms), while businesses within the property sector were the slowest to pay their bills (39.14 days beyond terms).
Additionally, businesses employing between 51 and 100 people saw the biggest improvement from July to August (down 4.2 per cent).
Businesses with six to 10 employees took the longest, with 25.33 days beyond agreed payment terms.