Number of bankruptcies increased significantly in 2023

In 2023, according to preliminary figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, 3,271 companies were declared bankrupt. That is more than 50 percent more than in 2022. Then 2145 companies were declared bankrupt. The number of bankruptcies in 2023 was still lower than in 2019, the last full year for corona.

Number of bankruptcies will increase from 2022.
In recent years, the number of bankruptcies has progressed with peaks and troughs, which followed each other quickly. As shown in the figure below, the number of bankruptcies fell sharply from the beginning of 2020 and the number increased from the second half of 2022.

Figure: number of bankruptcies of companies and institutions (including sole proprietorships), corrected for session days

The peak in the number of bankruptcies was reached during the euro crisis in 2013: 9,431 bankruptcies (see figure below). In May 2013, the number of marked bankruptcies was highest with 911 bankruptcies.

After that, the number of bankruptcies decreased through August 2017 and remained fairly the same until mid-2020. At that time, the number of bankruptcies declined further and reached a record low in August 2021 with 109. Throughout 2021, the number of failures was 1,818, the lowest since measurements started in 1981.

As of May 2022, the number of bankruptcies rose again and was higher than in the same month a year earlier.

Figure: number of bankruptcies of companies and institutions (including sole proprietorships) 

Corona support
In 2023, not corrected for session days, 3,271 companies and institutions, including sole proprietorships, were declared bankrupt. That is 52 percent more than in 2022. Then the number of bankruptcies was 2,145. The number of bankruptcies in 2023 was still lower than in 2019, the last full year for corona.

The fact that relatively few companies were declared bankrupt in corona time is due to the emergency support from the government. Bankruptcy growth in the past year, especially in the corona hard hit sectors, has therefore been expected for some time. The need to repay corona support and deferred taxes is affecting more and more companies.

Strongest increase in trade
As in previous years, trade, with 682, had the most bankruptcies in 2023. This was followed by the construction industry with 479. Both industries are among the major industries in terms of number of companies.

More companies went bankrupt in almost all industries than in 2022. In absolute terms, the increase in the number of bankruptcies was also the strongest in the trade. In 2023, 254 companies and institutions went more bankrupt here than in 2022. The increase in retail, wholesale and car trading was 145, 105 and 4 respectively.

With an increase of 139 bankruptcies, the construction industry followed second. In the catering industry, the number of bankruptcies went from 134 in 2022 to 267 in 2023, doubling. The increase is mainly due to the food and beverage outlets where the number of bankruptcies was 126 higher than in 2022. The increase was 7 for hotels and other accommodation providers.

Figure: number of bankruptcies of companies and institutions (including sole proprietorships), by industry

Source: CBS
Photo: Shutterstock

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