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Q4 2022: Business bankruptcies highest since 2015

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The number of bankruptcy declarations among EU businesses increased substantially in the fourth quarter of 2022 (+26.8% compared with the previous quarter) and reached the highest levels since the start of the data collection in 2015. The number of bankruptcy declarations increased during all four quarters of 2022.
When it comes to registrations of new businesses, these decreased slightly by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter. Generally, in all four quarters of 2022, business registrations levels were higher than during the pre-COVID pandemic period 2015-2019. 

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

This article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article. Since February 2023, the article also includes data in absolute numbers on the annual number of bankruptcies in the countries. 

 

Source dataset: sts_rb_q

 

Declarations of bankruptcies increased the most in transport and storage activities in Q4 2022

Looking specifically at bankruptcies by activity, all sectors registered increases in the number of bankruptcies in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter. 

Transportation and storage (+72.2%), accommodation and food services (+39.4%), and education, health and social activities (+29.5%) were the activities with the highest increases in the number of bankruptcies in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter. 

 

Line graph: Declarations of bankruptcies in the EU by activity, seasonally adjusted, 2015=100, Q1 2015-Q4 2022

Source dataset: sts_rb_q

 

Compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, the number of declarations of bankruptcies in the fourth quarter of 2022 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 (+97.7%) and transportation and storage (+85.7%). 

The number of declarations of bankruptcies in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019 was lower in only three sectors of the economy: industry (-17.6%), construction (-9.2%) and information and communication (-4.0%). 

 

Line graph: Declarations of bankruptcies in the EU by activity, seasonally adjusted, 2015=100, Q1 2015-Q4 2022

Source dataset: sts_rb_q

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