Record number of bankruptcies in first six months of 2013

  • Bankruptcies 14 percent up from first half of 2012
  • Trade and construction hit hard
  • Most substantial growth in Groningen

In the first six months of 2013, a record number of corporate and institutional bankruptcies were filed. According to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands, 4 in every 10 bankruptcies were recorded in the sectors construction or trade.

In the first half of this year, 4,983 companies and institutions were declared bankrupt, i.e. a 14 percent increase on the same period last year. The number of bankruptcies is unprecedented since the start of the survey in 1981. The number of one-man businesses going bankrupt increased by only 1 percent. The increase among other businesses and institutions was 16 percent.

The number of bankruptcies in trade (1,040) and construction (985) remained invariably high. In trade, the bankruptcy rate was particularly high in (wholesale) trade in clothes, construction materials, DIY materials and home furnishing shops. In the building sector, the construction of new residential and non-residential property units suffered most. The bankruptcy rate in related occupational groups like painters, plumbers, glaziers and property developers also increased notably.

Most bankruptcies were filed in the provincies of South Holland, North Brabant and North Holland. These provinces also have the highest business density. The number of bankruptcies has grown across all provinces relative to the first half of 2012. With 69 percent, the highest relative increase was recorded in the province of Groningen. The lowest increase was recorded in the province of Gelderland (5 percent).