Dutch bankruptcies at three-year low
According to Statistics Netherlands the monthly number of bankruptcies is at its lowest level since mid-2011. In June a total of 464 businesses were declared bankrupt compared with 458 in July 2011 and 490 in August 2011.
There is an even more marked drop in the number of Dutch bankruptcies compared with 12 months ago, when 712 businesses folded in June 2013.
Biggest drop in specialist services sector
The specialist services sector (such as consultation and research) saw the most notable reduction, accounting for half of the decline. Bankruptcies were reduced in most other sectors too, however in the trade and financial services sectors the number of firms going bust actually increased.
Construction sector looking healthier
More recently, the construction and building sector saw the greatest decline in the last 12 months, with bankruptcies falling from 128 in June 2013 to 45 in June 2014. In the last year the building sector has also seen an increase in investments and output.
Bankruptcies stable in first half of 2014
Compared to monthly numbers the three-month moving average is considered a more reliable indicator of bankruptcy trends. The three month moving average for June this year was 577 compared to an average of 598 for May, confirming a gradually decreasing trend.
Estro and Polare couldn’t weather the storm
Two of the most high profile bankruptcies of recent months have been the Polare bookshop chain and Estro, the Netherlands’ biggest commercial child care group. Both enterprises will reopen certain branches under new investors and with new names.
End of crisis in sight?
It is yet to be seen what kind of flow-on effect the decrease in bankruptcies will have on the Dutch employment market. The ING Economic Bureau predicts a total of 8.000 bankruptcies for 2014. This would be a 15 per cent drop on the record number of 9.429 bankruptcies that occurred in 2013.