Historically low number of bankruptcies in 2021
|Year||Week||Number of bankruptcies|
Bankruptcies at a historically low level
The number of corporate bankruptcies (excluding sole proprietorships), adjusted for court session days, fluctuates significantly. Ups and downs alternate in rapid succession. The number of bankruptcies peaked in May 2013 (816); it subsequently declined continuously until August 2017 inclusive and then became fairly stable up until mid-2020. The trend has been downward again since then. In August 2021, the number of bankruptcies (on a monthly basis) reached its lowest level since January 1991. The number of bankruptcies was also low in the months that followed.
Number of bankrupties in 2021 down by 43 percent year-on-year
Over the entire year 2021, a total of 1,536 corporate bankruptcies (excluding sole proprietorships) were pronounced. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 43 percent. Many companies were affected by the coronavirus crisis in 2021 as well, but the number of bankruptcies was at almost the lowest level since the start of the survey in 1981. Only in 1990 was the number of bankruptcies (1,527) slightly lower than in 2021.
The number of bankruptcies peaked in 2013 at 8,376 and subsequently dropped for five consecutive years. In 2019, the number of bankruptcies increased slightly, but the level was still relatively low. However, the number of bankruptcies has decreased again since then. In 2021, it was at the lowest level in 31 years. The fact that fewer companies were declared bankrupt in times of coronavirus cannot be seen in isolation from the government support.
Sharpest decrease in trade
The number of bankruptcies dropped in almost every sector. In absolute terms, the decrease was most pronounced in the trade sector. Its total fell by 292, from 581 in 2020 to 289 in 2021. In retail trade, wholesale and trade and repair of motor vehicles, the number of bankruptcies dropped by 146, 132 and 14 respectively.
In addition, the number of bankruptcies in the accommodation and food services sector fell from 235 in 2020 to 97 in 2021. In accommodation services (including hotels), it fell by 29 and in food and beverage services (including restaurants and cafes) by 109. In 2020, the accommodation and food services sector faced the sharpest increase in bankruptcies (39) of all industries. Especially at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, relatively many businesses went bankrupt.
Just as in previous years, most bankruptcies were pronounced in the trade sector (289) in 2020. Trade is among the sectors with the highest number of businesses.
|Specialised business services||187||292|
|Renting and other business services||117||220|
|Transportation and storage||97||188|
|Accommodation and food services||97||235|
|Information and communication||73||85|
|Real estate activities||28||42|
|Arts, sports and recreation||22||73|
|Other service activities||22||57|
|Agriculture, forestry and fisheries||12||17|
- Dossier - Business Cycle