Slight decrease in business insolvencies in Europe

The number of business insolvencies has been falling for several months, and not only in Germany. In the EU15 countries plus Norway and Switzerland the number of bankruptcies has been declining over the past three years and reached just 129.800 in the year 2007. One year earlier, there had been 6930 more insolvencies which corresponds to a decrease of 5.0% in 2007. However, the number of countries where more cases of insolvencies were registered doubled to six last year.

According to Creditreform, the biggest increase by 20.8% or 2400 cases was registered in Denmark, followed by Luxemburg with 7.3% to 680 cases of bankruptcy (in 2006: 634) and France with an increase by 5.7% to 42.700 insolvencies (in 2006: 40.400).
The most significant decrease was registered in Italy. The reason for this, however, is rather to be found in a changed statistical approach. Thus, the massive decline in company insolvencies in Italy by 38.7% to 5410 enterprises should for this reason not be overrated. Also falling was the number of insolvencies in the Netherlands by 20.7% to 4710 cases which is the smallest figure in six years. The third country in this list is Germany where the number of business insolvencies fell by 10.4% to 27.500 while in 2006 there were still 30.700 of such cases.

The highest number of insolvencies in proportion to the overall number of businesses was registered in Luxembourg (256 insolvencies per 10.000 existing companies), Austria (240) and France (166). The three Mediterranean countries Spain (3 insolvencies per each 10.000 businesses), Greece (7) and Italy (13) were less affected even though this was rather due to statistical calculation particularities.

The average insolvency rate amounts to 67 per each 10.000 companies. Germany has a rate of 90, but other European role model economies such as Norway (90), Sweden (92) and Switzerland (93) have similar insolvency rates.

Most affected by insolvencies in Europe is the service sector: on average 37.0% (in 2006: 35.3%) of all cases were registered here. The least affected is the processing industry with just 8.65% (in 2006: 9.1%). The respective figures for the trade business are 33.5% (33.4% in 2006). GERMAN