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Q2 2023: Business bankruptcies at highest level since 2015

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In the second quarter of 2023, the number of bankruptcy declarations of EU businesses increased for the sixth quarter in a row. Compared with the previous quarter, the number of bankruptcies was up by 8.4% and thus reached the highest level since the start of the data collection in 2015. 

When it comes to registrations of new businesses, compared with the previous quarter, following an increase of 2% in the first quarter of the year, these decreased slightly by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2023. Generally, since 2023, the number of business registrations has been higher than during the 2015-2022 period. 

This information comes from data on business registrations and bankruptcies published by Eurostat today. Since February 2023, the Eurostat database also includes monthly data on business registrations and bankruptcies for countries that transmit monthly information voluntarily.

This article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article

Source dataset: sts_rb_q
 

Declarations of bankruptcies increased the most in accommodation and food services in Q2 2023

Looking specifically at bankruptcies by activity, all sectors of the economy registered increases in the number of bankruptcies in the second quarter of 2023 compared with the previous quarter. Accommodation and food services (+23.9%), transportation and storage (+15.2%), and education, health and social activities (+10.1%) were the sectors with the highest increases in the number of bankruptcies in the second quarter of 2023 compared with the previous quarter. 

Compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, the number of declarations of bankruptcies in the second quarter of 2023 was higher in the majority of sectors of the economy. The largest increases in the number of bankruptcies, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, were recorded in accommodation and food services (+82.5% and transportation and storage (+56.7%).
 

Line chart: declarations of bankruptcies, Q1 2015 to Q2 2023, by activity

Source dataset: sts_rb_q
 

In contrast, in the second quarter of 2023, there were only two sectors of the economy where the number of declarations of bankruptcies was lower than in the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019: industry (-11.5%) and construction (-2.7%).
 

Line chart: declarations of bankruptcies, Q1 2015 to Q2 2023, by activity

Source dataset: sts_rb_q

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