One fifth fewer bankruptcies in 2014

© Roel Burgler

According to Statistics Netherlands, 520 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt in December  2014, i.e. 32 more than in November. The increase was caused by the fact that December had one court session day more than November. Altogether, 6,645 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were faced with bankruptcy in 2014, i.e. a reduction by nearly 21 percent relative to 2013, when the number of bankruptcies soared to a record level of 8,376.

Downward trend since second half of 2013

As the number of businesses declared bankrupt in a particular month is closely related to the number of days courts are in session, it may vary considerably from one month to the next. Therefore, the three-month moving average is a more reliable indicator.

With 515, the three-month moving average was just about the same in December as in the preceding two months. The average has decreased considerably following a peak in mid-2013. In the past few months it has been at its lowest level in three years.   

Bankruptcies of businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses)

Bankruptcies of businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses)

Number of bankruptcies considerably down in 2014

Last year, 360 thousand businesses (exluding one-man businesses) were active in the Netherlands; 6,645 went bankrupt (nearly 21 percent). The number of bankruptcies is still 73 percent higher than in 2008, the last year before the financial recession struck.
The number of one-man business bankruptcies fell from 1,055 to 975, a reduction by 8 percent.

Last year, 2,035 private persons were faced with bankruptcy in 2014, one third down from 2013. The number of bankruptcies of businesses, one-man businesses and private persons totalled 9,655 in 2014.

Time series: number of bankruptcies (excluding one-man businesses)

time series bankrupcies

Sharp decline bankruptcies in construction sector

With 1,415, most bankruptcies of businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) occurred in the sector trade; 757 in wholesale trade and 495 in retail trade, followed by the sector financial services with 1,035 bankruptcies.

The number of bankruptcies fell across nearly all sectors, in the construction sector by 45 percent. In the sector manufacturing industry, the number of bankruptcies was down by 35 percent compared to 2013, in the sector trade by 25 percent, but in the sector financial services, the number of bankruptcies rose by 31 percent.

Most bankruptcies recorded in South Holland and North Brabant

With 1,252 and 1,160 respectively, the highest numbers of bankruptcies were recorded in the provinces of South Holland and North Brabant in 2014. In the province of North Holland, the number of bankruptcies exceeded 1 thousand. The lowest number was recorded in the province of Zeeland (105). In 6 provinces, the number of bankruptcies declined more rapidly than across the entire country. Zeeland is the only province where the number of bankruptcies has risen.

The number of bankruptcies in a province is related to the number of businesses in the same province. The number of businesses in South Holland, for example, is much higher than in Zeeland.

For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.