The number of company bankruptcies in the world's major economies increased in 2022 – D&B

01 July 2023

The number of corporate bankruptcies in most of the world's largest economies increased in 2022 after two years of decline, according to Dun & Bradstreet, a company that helps businesses manage credit risks.

During the pandemic, contrary to expectations and the freezing of entire sectors of the economy, the number of bankruptcies turned out to be lower than the level of 2018-2019. However, after the cancellation of extensive government support measures, the situation changed dramatically. As a result, an increase in the number of bankruptcies of legal entities in 2022 was recorded in 28 of the 48 states for which data was analyzed by D&B. Moreover, 13 of 48 countries recorded the highest number of bankruptcies since the beginning of the decade.

Thus, in Indonesia, the number of bankrupt companies doubled in 2022, and Austria, France and the UK, with an increase of 49-50%, became the leaders in the number of corporate bankruptcies among European economies. An increase in the number of bankruptcies of about 30% at the end of the year was shown by Belgium, Poland and Ukraine.

In the 4th quarter of 2022, the number of bankruptcies in Europe reached its highest level since 2015.

At the same time, the overall situation with insolvent companies remains heterogeneous in Europe. Bankruptcies in Spain, for example, in 2022 increased significantly compared to pre-pandemic 2019. The UK has also seen bankruptcies rise towards this level. This is in stark contrast to what has been observed in some other large European economies (e.g. Italy, Germany and France), where bankruptcies are still well below 2019 levels.

2022 saw a 2% decrease in U.S. bankruptcies compared to the previous year. However, during the period from 2021 to 2020, this figure fell by 12%.

D&B experts point to the risk of an increasing trend in the number of bankruptcies in 2023, especially in the financial sector, where the collapse of SVB and Credit Suisse occurred. Financial problems in the corporate sector may be aggravated by high inflation, the slowdown of some economies and recession in a number of countries.

In Russia, the number of corporate bankruptcies in 2022 decreased by 12.2% compared to 2021, which was facilitated by a moratorium on creditors filing bankruptcy petitions for debtors from April 1 to October 1 and other factors. Against the backdrop of recovery growth in the first half of the year, the decline in this indicator in Russia was already 40%.

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