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September 10, 2009

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Bankruptcy filings rise 14.8% in Germany

THE number of German companies filing for bankruptcy protection was up nearly 15 percent on the year in the first half of 2009, when Europe's largest economy was struggling with recession, official data showed yesterday.

The Federal Statistical Office said courts registered 16,142 bankruptcy filings between January and June, a rise of 14.8 percent on year.

In June alone, there were 2,788 corporate bankruptcies - a 15.9 percent increase on the same month last year, the statistical office said.

In calculating the percentage change for the first six months, the office left out numbers from one German state, North Rhine-Westphalia, because it reported some 2007 bankruptcies in last year's first quarter.

Germany is beginning to emerge from a deep recession. The export-driven economy was hit hard by slumping international demand but unexpectedly posted growth in the second quarter.

A group that represents German insolvency administrators, VID, cautioned against translating that into hopes of a quick falloff in bankruptcies. It said they can be expected to rise further in the coming months, and noted that a sustainable pickup remains some way off in sectors such as the car and machine-making industries.


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