The number of business bankruptcies continues to rise inexorably

The situation continues to worsen. Since autumn 2021, business failures have started to rise again, after a sharp lull due to the health crisis, marked by the temporary modification of the dates for characterizing and declaring the state of insolvency, as well as by corporate cash support measures.

According to the Banque de France, 45,120 receiverships were recorded between April 2022 and March 2023, which represents a surge of 49% over 12 months (30,285 a year ago). No economic sector is spared by the magnitude of the phenomenon. In the case of building and public works, 9,167 companies went out of business in March 2023, i.e. a very significant increase of 42.2% in one year (6,448). Without reaching the level of 2019 (11,089 procedures), which is still 17.3% higher than the figures recorded last month.

The 2019 level is getting closer and closer

The same trend can be observed in real estate, although it is less pronounced. About 1,430 companies operating in this sector filed for bankruptcy in March, which represents a jump of almost 15% over 12 months (1,244 in 2022). However, real estate activities remain much less exposed to economic turpitude than construction professionals. And here again, we are still far from pre-Covid levels: in 2019, 1,631 real estate companies had gone bankrupt, or 12.4% more than today. That said, in both cases, the margin is getting smaller and smaller.

Once again, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the hardest hit by the economic difficulties. All sectors combined, more than 45,000 of them were in default of payments last March, which represents a take-off of 49% over one year. Among them, 41,736 micro-enterprises went out of business (+46.6%). Mid-size companies (ETI) and large groups are also concerned: with 39 files in March 2023, against 22 a year earlier, the phenomenon took off by 77.3% over 12 months, and even by 50% compared to 2019. In other words, large companies are now experiencing more bankruptcies than in 2019, which is not yet the case for VSEs-SMEs.

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