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Slovaks' debt repayment declining: survey

According to a European Payment Index (EPI) survey, Slovak households are getting worse at paying their debts.

The survey showed that 61 percent of Slovak companies have spent more time in the past three years processing household payments than they did before. In a previous survey in 2004, only 41 percent of companies gave the same answer.

This trend is caused mainly by selective payment discipline, with customers choosing to pay a bill from only one company and leaving other bills unsettled.

Other reasons include lower disposable household incomes, rising living costs, and a general change in social values that means reminders and appeals to settle debts are losing their force.

The survey also showed that the immediate satisfaction of needs is becoming more important for consumers than the ability to pay.

The survey was carried out by the Intrum Justitia company in 25 countries this spring. It was conducted on a sample of 6,500 companies of various sizes and spheres of business.

The biggest deterioration of payment discipline was found in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The most improvement was observed in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

-TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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