The number of bankruptcies shows an irregular pattern with many ups and downs. Adjusted for court session days, the number of bankruptcies peaked in May 2013. This was followed by a downward trend, reaching its lowest level (since 2001) in August 2017; after that, ups and downs alternated. In December, the number of bankruptcies increased slightly.
Number of bankrupties in 2017 down by 25 percent year-on-year
Over the entire year 2017, a total of 3,290 bankruptcies were pronounced. This represents a year-on-year decrease by 25 percent and is also the lowest number since the start of the 21st century. The number of bankruptcies peaked in 2013 at 8,376 and subsequently started a four-year decline by altogether nearly 61 percent, in line with economic growth in the Netherlands.
Sharpest decline in financial services sector
The number of bankruptcies was down across nearly all sectors. In absolute terms, the decline was largest in financial services; the total in that sector declined from 758 in 2016 to 487 in 2017, a drop of 36 percent.
Just as in previous years, most bankruptcies were pronounced in the trade sector last year. Altogether 693 companies went out of business including 345 wholesalers, 270 retailers and 78 car dealers. The trade sector therefore saw a considerable drop in the number of bankruptcies, namely by 259 (-27 percent). Furthermore, bankruptcies in the manufacturing industry fell substantially: from 334 to 245 (-27 percent as well).