The number of bankruptcies in April at the lowest level on record

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Last month, 109 companies went bankrupt in the Netherlands. That’s 71 fewer than a month earlier and the lowest number since measurements began in 1981, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Friday. In the retail sector, most businesses went bankrupt.

The number of bankruptcies has been going up and down for quite some time now. In May 2013, the number of declared bankruptcies peaked at 911, after which it decreased until August 2017. From then on, the trend remained stable until mid-2020, when the first effects of the corona crisis are became visible.

Thanks to government support, the number of bankruptcies during the corona crisis has practically decreased. In December, when the support was first stopped, slightly more businesses went bankrupt and the number of bankruptcies also increased slightly in February and March. In April, they fall back to their lowest level on record.

Most companies went bankrupt in the retail sector, but it is also the sector with the most companies. Relatively speaking, most bankruptcies in April occurred in the manufacturing sector.

Experts expect a new wave of bankruptcies

Experts have long expected the number of bankruptcies to rise in the coming months now that all support measures have been permanently halted. Since April, companies can no longer rely on things like NOW or TVL. The government assumes they need it less now that there are no more restrictions.

A week ago it turned out that around half of the companies that went bankrupt in the first three months of this year had invoked at least one corona support measure, fueling criticism from some number of economists that the government used the corona too long a support to keep businesses going, sustained a life that was no longer viable anyway.

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