Statistisches Bundesamt: Zahl der Firmenpleiten steigt im ersten Halbjahr um ein Fünftel

The number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany has significantly increased in the first half of the year due to an economic downturn and rising credit interest rates. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 8,571 companies filed for insolvency, which is 20.5 percent higher than the same period last year. The total amount owed to creditors amounted to approximately 13.9 billion euros, significantly higher than the previous year’s 8.2 billion euros. On the other hand, the number of consumer bankruptcies decreased by 1.9 percent to 33,140 in the first six months of the year.

In recent years, government assistance and partially suspended bankruptcy filing obligations have kept the number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany at a low level despite the pandemic and energy crisis. Therefore, experts had anticipated an increase in the current year.

Verkehr und Lagerei

In the first half of the year, there were a total of 25.3 bankruptcies in Germany, out of 10,000 companies. The majority of these bankruptcies, 54.1 cases, were in the transportation and storage sector. The next highest number of bankruptcies, 41.3 cases, were in other economic services, which include temporary staffing agencies. The energy supply sector had the lowest frequency of bankruptcies, with only 2.4 cases.

The German economy contracted at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, and only experienced stagnation in the spring. Many experts anticipate a decline in the gross domestic product for the entire year, partly due to increased interest rates and financing costs. Economist Steffen Müller from the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Halle (IWH) stated that „given the multitude of economic problems and uncertainties, higher bankruptcy numbers can be expected in the coming months compared to last year.“ Despite the rising risks, the expert mentioned that there is no sign of a wave of bankruptcies.

The development of the requested insolvency proceedings in August also indicates this. The number increased by 13.8 percent compared to the same month last year, which is not as significant as the 23.8 percent increase in July. It should be noted that these results only include cases that have been included in the statistics after the initial decision of the insolvency court. In many cases, the actual date of the insolvency application is approximately three months prior to that.