The number of Dutch companies that went bust was again lower in July than in the previous month. The number of bankruptcies has fallen for three months in a row and has now reached the lowest point since April 2000, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reports Thursday.
The number of companies that went bankrupt in July was 204. That was 27 fewer than in June and 61 fewer than in May. This year’s peak was in April, when 335 companies went bust. April was the first month of lockdown from start to finish.
Because of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, you would expect the number of bankruptcies to increase. Nevertheless, there has been a decline since April.
CBS economist Peter Hein van Mulligen suspects that this is related to the government’s support measures. These are intended to keep companies afloat temporarily.
It is also possible that receivers and judges are less inclined to declare bankruptcy, because some companies that are now in trouble would be financially healthy without a corona crisis. They therefore want to wait and see whether the companies might become profitable again in the coming months.
Van Mulligen: ‘Maybe it will be a calm before the storm’
However, Van Mulligen is not 100 percent sure of this: “It remains a bit of a guess, which keeps the number of bankruptcies low. And maybe it will be a calm before the storm.”
Trade was the sector with the highest number of bankruptcies in July: 39. However, there are many companies active in this sector. Relatively speaking, the catering industry was the sector in which most companies went bust.
Statistics Netherlands also released figures on last week’s bankruptcies. Between 3 and 9 August, 41 companies went bankrupt. That is five fewer than in the previous week.
For the entire year, the counter is now at 2,225. Despite the lockdown measures that have hit the corporate sector hard, there are still 81 fewer companies than in the same period last year.