Welcome to December's issue of Credit Management News Digest. This issue is sponsored by Schumann.

Index
 
UK Economy & Brexit
CBI predicts modest economic growth if the UK exits the EU by 31 January 2020 with the prospect of an ambitious trade deal. According to the CBI’s latest economic forecast, GDP growth during the next two years looks set to remain modest at 1.3% in 2019 and 1.2% in 2020. However, the CBI notes that these predictions are predicated on the assumption that the UK exits the EU by 31 January 2020 and has a "clear line of sight to an ambitious trade deal". According to the CBI, the main risk to the outlook is continuing Brexit uncertainty, - particularly the potential threat of a No Deal Brexit. Further escalation in US-China trade tensions would also impact world growth and trade, with a knock-on effect on the UK economy. To read the CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/imperative-to-protect-uk-growth-beyond-brexit-cbi-economic-forecast/.
UK growth to remain modest in 2019-2020. PwC’s latest UK Economic Outlook projects that UK economic growth is likely to remain subdued, growing by around 1.2%  in 2019 and 1% in 2020 - significantly below its long term average rate of around 2%. According to the report, economic growth has slowed over the past two years primarily due to a dampening of business investment, resulting from both a lack of clarity over Brexit as well as heightened global trade tensions. John Hawksworth, Chief Economist at PwC commented: “UK economic growth is likely to remain choppy throughout the rest of this year and in early 2020. However, there could be a modest bounce in business investment later in 2020 if the UK achieves an orderly Brexit." To read PwC's news release go to https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/ukeo-economic-prospects-release.html.  
UK growth rallies in Q3 2019 - but is still half of what it was a year earlier. Latest data from the OECD has shown that GDP growth in Q3 2019 picked-up in the UK to 0.3% following a contraction of -0.2% in Q2. However, although this is good news, the OECD data also notes that the UK's annual growth of 1% between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019 is 0.3% less the European Union as a whole, 0.6% less than the OECD, and 0.6% less than UK's figures for the same period a year earlier (i.e., Q3 2017 - Q3 2018). Q3's growth is also half of the 0.6% recorded for the UK in Q3 2018 and Q1 2019. To read the OECD's news release go to http://www.oecd.org/sdd/na/gdp-growth-third-quarter-2019-oecd.htm.    
The UK is one of the weakest economies in the OECD. New analysis published by the TUC has revealed that the UK has had one of the lowest growing economies in the OECD since the last general election in 2017. The TUC notes that growth has been dragged down by lack of investment (-0.2% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2019. compared to +3.4% across the rest of the OECD) and a fall in exports (-2.6% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2019 compared to the OECD average of +3.4%), with nearly all other OECD nations outperforming the UK on both. Furthermore, the TUC finds that over the past two years, the UK economy has slowed to less than half the long-term growth rate experienced before the financial crisis (2.8%). To read the TUC's news release go to https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/uk-economy-has-fallen-relegation-zone-oecd-2017-election-tuc-analysis.
UK Trade Sectors
UK retailers report record-high stock levels. According to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trends Survey, against the backdrop of a continuing decline in sales, UK retailers’ stock levels in relation to expected sales were at their highest on record in October. The latest spike in stock adequacy (the highest since the survey began in 1983) followed another large peak seen in August. According to the CBI, a combination of the proximity to Christmas and ongoing Brexit uncertainty is likely to have driven stocks higher, particularly with retailers stocking seasonal products earlier than usual. To read the CBI's news release go to https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/retailers-report-record-high-stock-levels-as-brexit-deadline-looms-cbi/.
UK Exports
UK exports contracted for the first time in four years in Q3 2019. BDO has reported that its latest Export Growth Index indicates that the UK's EU export growth declined to 93.9 (where 95 shows zero growth ) in Q3 2019. This shows that British exports to Europe contracted year-on-year in Q3 – the first time since 2015. Furthermore, BDO notes that with growth on a downward trajectory across all key UK export markets, a marked recovery in Q4 appears unlikely. Europe’s largest economy, Germany, experienced an even more significant annual contraction of exports in Q3 – with the Index falling by 3.7 points to 90.9. France, Italy and Spain performed better, but also saw growth deteriorate in Q3, with the rate of export growth now below the long-run trend in all three countries.  To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2019/eu-export-growth-crashes-to-two-year-low.  
UK Insolvency, Late Payment & Business Distress
489,000 UK businesses are in significant financial distress – a 40% increase since the EU referendum. New research from Begbies Traynor has indicated that the number of UK businesses in significant financial distress has increased by 40% in the three years since the EU referendum, affecting 489,000 UK businesses. Over the past year, significant financial distress has risen in 20 out of the 22 sectors monitored by this research, with the real estate and property, construction, retail and travel sectors the most severely affected. There was also a marked increase in the number of businesses in critical financial distress during the same period – often a precursor to formal insolvency – with a substantial 8% year-on-year rise, To read Begbies Traynor's news release go to https://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/news/firm-news/489000-businesses-in-significant-financial-distress-a-40-increase-since-the-eu-referendum
Credit Management News and Resources
Paul Uppal is no longer the UK's Small Business Commissioner. A recent UK government news release has reported that Paul Uppal has "stepped down" as Small Business Commissioner, According to The Times, a conflict of interest with the yet-to-operate Business Banking Resolution Service may be behind his departure.  Fiona Dickie, the Deputy Pubs Code Adjudicator, will provide oversight in the Small Business Commissioner role until early November, pending the appointment of an interim Commissioner. An assessment panel of three professionals was used in 2017 to appoint Mr Uppal to the role. To read gov.uk's news release go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/small-business-commissioner-stands-down.
European & World Economy
The World Economy is set to experience its slowest annual growth for a decade. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has reported that it has lowered its forecast for global GDP growth this year from 3.25% to 3% - the slowest annual growth for a decade. NIESR expects similar growth of 3% in 2020, with a slight pick-up in 2021 to 3.25%. Overall, global GDP growth this year is now expected to be around 0.75% slower than NIESR anticipated a year ago. NIESR notes that the imposition of tariffs by the US on goods from China and other protectionist measures have been a disruptive force in the global trading environment. To read NIESR's news release go to https://www.niesr.ac.uk/media/niesr-press-release-prospects-world-economy-13976.  
Events & Offers
GTR Africa London 2019, 13 November 2019. London
GTR’s well-known annual African-focused conference, GTR Africa London, will return once again to London this Autumn. It has quickly become a key annual gathering for domestic and international trade, as well as export and project finance professionals focusing on growth and sustainability within Africa.
Over 300 delegates are expected in attendance on November 13, with a dual-stream conference agenda covering a broad range of topics focusing on creating a sustainable vision for the future of African trade. Delegates will explore these topics through multi-format sessions which will include; case studies, interactive panel discussions, break-out sessions, and a new ‘fire-side chat’ format, as well as our famous networking opportunities.
GTR Africa London will look at the pros of ECA’s, supporting infrastructure development and tech innovation and how it can benefit the European region in the global trade race for Africa as well as using the benefits of common European languages in negotiations for a sense of trust through language. The conference will also dive into the risks involved in investing into Africa alongside Chinese and UK government policies while exploring the “in’s and out’s” of the AfCFTA.
As supporting partner, we have secured a limited amount of free Corporate Rate passes to attend the event, normally £849. Corporate Rate passes are only available to those who are exporters, importers, manufactures, distributors, traders & producers of physical goods and are not valid in conjunction with other discounts and available for new registrations only.
To check your eligibility, and to register on a free Corporate Rate pass, please contact Tanya Naysmith at tnaysmith@gtreview.com.
All others, including bankers, insurers, solution providers etc., can receive a special 15% partnership discount when booking online with code: CIN15.
For more information on GTR Africa London 2019, visit 
the event website or download the event brochure.
Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum, 14 November 2019. London
Alternative & Receivables Finance Forum tracks the transformation of receivables and invoice finance; showcasing the most successful new entrants to the market, examining the future of technology-enabled funding models, and driving the conversation on alternative finance for SMEs. This is a unique gathering, where you can network with established receivables finance providers and ‘alternative’ SME funders and find out how the competitive landscape for commercial finance is changing.
The comprehensive programme provides insights into the priorities influencing SMEs’ financial choices and showcases the latest technology-enabled distribution models.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/alternative-receivables-finance-forum-1. The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN19 – please utilise the code upon booking. Alternatively you can contact yongmei.he@bcrpub.com quoting your discount code for payment via invoice.
GTR Nordics, 19 November 2019. Stockholm.
GTR Nordics 2019 will return to Stockholm on November 19. 
With an expected attendance of over 450 of the region’s top trade finance experts, insurers, bankers, ECAs, technology innovators, government bodies and corporates of all sizes. 
With the Nordic business community maintaining its position at the forefront of global innovation, 2018’s gathering provided the ideal forum to discuss the latest trends and strategic developments across key trade sectors, and their impact on trade and export financing requirements. 
Insight was provided on the impact of growing global protectionism on trade and the innovative business models developing across key exports sectors, from Volvo’s provision of ‘Equipment as a Service’ to the importance of Turkish EPC contractor Yapi Merkezi’s financial offering when bidding for large infrastructure contracts. 
The digitisation of trade and trade finance was highlighted as a fundamental requirement for future development, posing a challenge to the trade finance market’s incumbents. 
With preparations for the next GTR Nordics event already underway, ensure you join hundreds of your market peers in Stockholm in November 2019 to gain business-critical insight, create crucial contacts and get ahead of the game. 
We have secured a limited amount of free and discounted passes for more information contact bhemmings@gtreview.com or click here.
Trade Credit, Bond, and Political Risk Insurance Dinner, 21 November 2019. The Tower of London. 
Gordon’s Alive! 
Book your tables for the London 2019 Trade Credit, Bond, and Political Risk Insurance Market Dinner and Charity Auction, hosted by Marsh. 
 This year’s event will be held on Thursday 21 November in the spectacular Winter Pavilion at The Tower of London. 
Our master of ceremonies will be actor and adventurer Brian Blessed. Proceeds from the charity auction will go to The British Red Cross. Tables are available seating ten people, and the ticket price includes a sparkling wine reception, a three-course meal, coffee, and petits fours for each guest. House wines, beers, and soft drinks are also included for the duration of the evening. 
TXF Trade Credit and Political Risk Insurance 2019, 4 December 2019. Institute of Directors, London.
The place for banks, corporates and traders to meet the CPRI market and forge new and deeper partnerships for distribution and risk mitigation.
Book your place on 4 December in London for the most interactive private insurance forum around. With insurance and reinsurance brokers as well as underwriters all in attendance alongside CPRI product users, this is the forum for anybody looking to meet the market to explore how to maximally leverage the private insurance product.
Book your place here.
Limited bank, corporate and trader passes available. Please contact tom.pycraft@txfmedia.com to check your eligibility.

Supply Chain Finance Summit, 30-31 January 2020. Amsterdam
The fifth annual Supply Chain Finance Summit is a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends, ideas and developments transforming working capital and supply chain management, as well as a chance to network with leaders in the industry.
This in-depth event tracks the transformation of supply chain finance (SCF); showcasing the latest innovations within the industry for both domestic and cross-border financing, examining the future of technology-enabled supply chain models, and driving the conversation on increasing access of SCF for SMEs and emerging markets.
As event partners, Credit Insurance News can offer their members a 10% discount on a delegate pass rate. To register please follow this link https://bcrpub.com/events/supply-chain-finance-summit-1.
The Credit Insurance News delegate discount code is CIN20– please utilise the code upon booking. Alternatively you can contact yongmei.he@bcrpub.com quoting your discount code for payment via invoice.
About the Sponsor: Schumann
Chubb Global Markets (CGM) is the London Market wholesale and specialty division of Chubb European Group, part of the Chubb Group the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer. 
CGM has twenty years’ experience in underwriting Excess of Loss trade credit policies, providing non-cancellable cover to companies with well-established credit management procedures, ultimately providing certainty during uncertain political and economic times.
CGM’s trade credit underwriters are experienced in all aspects of the client relationship ensuring a single point of contact and quick decisions. 
Chubb’s core political risk and credit underwriting expertise and their ability to provide bespoke wordings delivers a flexible underwriting approach meeting the changing needs of clients.
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