Number of bankruptcies reduced by one-fifth last year

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Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the number of bankruptcies rose by 5 in December 2015 relative to November. In the previous three months, the number of bankruptcies also increased. In 2015, a total of 5,266 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were faced with bankruptcy, i.e. a reduction by more than one-fifth relative to 2014 and the lowest level in 7 years.

Bankruptcies of businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses), corrected for court session days

Downward trend interrupted

Adjusted for court session days, the number of bankruptcies peaked in May 2013 and then dipped in August 2015 to reach the lowest level since October 2008. Subsequently, it began to rise again. However, it is premature to conclude that the increase in bankruptcies in the past months will have a structural effect on the overall trend. Bankruptcy developments tend to be fairly unpredictable.

Bankruptcy rate also down among one-man business and private persons in 2015

Last year, the number of bankruptcies among private persons, i.e. natural persons with and without one-man businesses fell by approximately one-third to 2,046 (including 730 private one-man businesses). This is the lowest level since 2000.

The total number of bankruptcies over  the entire year 2015 amounts to 7,312 (including the 5,266 businesses and institutions declared bankrupt last year), a decrease by nearly one-quarter compared to 2014 and the lowest number in 7 years. The decrease in bankruptcies observed in the past two years is consitent with last year’s economic recovery in the Netherlands.

Number of bankruptcies

Sharp decline bankruptcies in manufacturing industry

Just as in 2014, the highest number of bankruptcies was surveyed in the sector trade in 2015. A total of 1,119 businesses and institutions went bankrupt. Wholesale trade and retail trade were faced with 573 and 435 bankruptcies respectively, followed by the sector financial services with 938 bankruptcies.

The number of bankruptcies fell across nearly all sectors, but most substantially in manufacturing industry, from 515 in 2014 to 350 in 2015, a reduction by 32 percent. In the sector specialised business services (law firms, accounting firms, architectural firms and advertising agencies), the number of bankruptcies was down by 29 percent year-on-year. In the sectors trade and construction, the number of bankruptcies fell by 21 and 18 percent respectively, probably due to the recovering housing market.

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

The numbers in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.