In the third quarter of 2023, the number of bankruptcy declarations of EU businesses decreased by 5.8% compared with the previous quarter. Overall, the number of bankruptcy declarations in 2023 has been higher since the pre-pandemic period (i.e. the fourth quarter of 2019).
In the same period, registrations of new businesses slightly increased for the third quarter in a row. Compared with the second quarter of this year, they went up by 0.7%. Generally, the number of business registrations in the second and third quarters of 2023 has been higher than in the 2015-2022 period.
This information comes from data on business registrations and bankruptcies published by Eurostat today. Since February 2023, the Eurostat database also includes monthly data on business registrations and bankruptcies for countries that transmit monthly information voluntarily.
This article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.
Bankruptcies increased in information and communication activities
Looking specifically at bankruptcies by activity, most sectors of the economy registered a decrease in the number of bankruptcies in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the previous quarter. Transportation and storage was the sector with the highest decrease (41.3%), followed by accommodation and food services (-28.4%) and education, health and social activities (-12.3%). The sectors recording increases were information and communication (+25.3%), industry (+4.6%) and construction (+0.1%).
Compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, the number of declarations of bankruptcies in the third quarter of 2023 was higher in half of the sectors of the economy. Accommodation and food services, information and communication, education, health and social activities and financial, insurance, real estate activities all registered a higher number of bankruptcies in the third quarter of 2023, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.
In contrast, in the remaining four sectors of the economy, the number of declarations of bankruptcies was lower than in the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019: trade, industry, transportation and storage, and construction.