The Barometer February 2021: Bankruptcies historically low

Anne de Geus
Feb. 25, 2021 - Reading Time 8 minutes

When it comes to the financial health of companies and bankruptcies, we have a better understanding of the current state of affairs than anyone else. In these special times it is very important to keep a finger on the pulse on the financial health of your buyers and suppliers. The barometer shows the current bankruptcies every month in comparison with previous periods and other sectors. Remarkable this month are the high number of bankruptcies in the branches: catering industry, temporary employment agencies, transport services and building & construction.

A total of 207 bankruptcies were declared in 2021 (YTD 23-2-2021). This is a whopping 81% less than the number of bankruptcies during the same period last year. This sharply declining trend is well visible from Q3 2020 and is likely to stabilize.

Since the beginning of the corona crisis, the number of bankruptcies has been low, even lower than before the corona crisis. This is a result of the government support packages designed to ensure that normally healthy organizations stay afloat during the crisis. A side effect of these support packages is that financially unhealthy organizations also do not go bankrupt. It is expected that these thousands of bankruptcies will occur in a tsunami when government support falls away.

For the time being, the service sector will be hardest hit in 2021. Here we see bankruptcies mainly at temporary employment agencies. Almost 10% of the bankruptcies can be attributed to the hospitality industry. Other sectors that stand out are transport and storage and contractor companies.

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