BU Business Confidence Index

Tracking perceived demand, risk appetite and claims in the export credit insurance industry, based on quarterly surveys of Berne Union Members

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 our Members’ assessment of their current and imminent business situation with respect to these factors.

Business Confidence Index Q1.24

Business Confidence Index Q1.24

20 March 2024

Demand is set to remain strong through the first quarter of 2024, following concentrated growth in the second half of 2023, but new risks give pause for thought with short-term export credit insurance claims growing. 


Business Confidence Index Q4.23


We see renewed demand for export credit insurance and expect a strong end to the year. Insurers are seeing increasing claims as high interest rates and higher input costs elevate insolvencies. 

Business Confidence Index Q3.23


Trade credit insurance has seen a normalisation of both claims and risk appetite through the first half of the year. The industry is maintaining capacity for MLT risks while remaining cautious around the impact of sovereign defaults and geopolitical hot spots.

Business Confidence Index Q2.23


The tightening credit environment has seen an overall contraction in demand and ST risk appetite as BU members signal rising claims. MLT projects seeking ECA cover appear strong in the second quarter. Growth in ST demand appears to be slowing in line with the slowdown in merchandise trade at the end of 2022 and the start of 2023. Green investm...

Business Confidence Index Q1.23


Demand remains buoyant following strong global trade performance in 2022, but high inflation, ongoing geopolitical risks, and rising pre-claims situations mean underwriters remain cautious through the first quarter of 2023.Despite the expected economic slowdown, ST business is likely to continue its resiliency as we head into 2023, meanwhile growi...

Business Confidence Index Q4.22


Business Confidence Survey shows heightened geopolitical risk is driving growing demand for export credit insurance but underwriters remain cautious in response to visibly growing levels of insolvency globallyDespite a positive reaction to growing trade, buoyant commodity prices and lower-than-feared insolvencies through the second and third quarte...

Business Confidence Index Q3.22


Heightened geopolitical risk is driving growing demand for export credit insurance, despite the dampening effects on trade of a decidedly bleak economic outlook. Insurers remain cautious in response to visibly growing levels of insolvency globallyDespite the bleak outlook, overall demand for export credit insurance remains strong, supported by the ...

Business Confidence Index Q2.22


Underwriters are tightening risk appetite in response to emerging claims, inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions, while elevated commodity prices and investment in new projects keep demand strong Global trade prospects for the first quarter of 2022 changed radically in late February with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This has...

Business Confidence Index Q1.22


Growing appetite for climate-related investments and social infrastructure boosts MLT capacity at the beginning of 2022, amid generally positive expectations for trade activity, despite some dampening from inflation, and increasing costs of energy especiallyAs insurers take their initial figurative steps into 2022, the business environment is far f...

Business Confidence Index Q4.21


2021 looks set to end on a high, with a predicted upsurge in demand for cover matched by continued strong risk appetite among underwriters. A moderate anticipated rise in claims may meanwhile presage a smooth normalisation beyond the low COVID-baselineNotwithstanding some emerging headwinds for trade, growth in demand for ST export credit insurance...

Business Confidence Index Q3.21


The latest BCI research confirms a steady improvement in both demand and risk appetite during the first half of 2021, while emerging claims have remained low. For the first time this year, paid claims are expected to fall in the coming quarterWith global merchandise trade continuing to grow beyond its pre-pandemic levels and global foreign direct i...

Business Confidence Index Q2.21


Continuing the trend established through the end of 2020: while risk appetite remains high, insurers continue preparing for rising claims in the coming monthsThe export credit and investment insurance industry experienced an overall positive start to 2021 with reports from the first quarter showing rising demand and a subdued level of emerging clai...

Business Confidence Index Q1.21


First of a new report and index tracking perceived demand, risk appetite and claims in export credit insuranceThe Berne Union Business Confidence Index is based on quarterly survey snapshots of our Members' assessment of their current and imminent business situation.In line with industry norms, we distinguish between short-term and medium to long-t...