Business failures - France 2023Feb

At the end of February, the number of corporate bankruptcies increased but remained at a significantly lower level than in the pre-COVID period

  • The rise in the number of corporate bankruptcies initiated in fall 2021 continues. Over one year (between March 2022 and February 2023), it reaches 43,886 against 29,124 a year earlier (see Figure 1, as well as Tables A and B).

  • This upward trend is common to all sectors of the economy (see Figure 2) and more pronounced for SMEs (excluding microenterprises and indeterminate sizes) and the largest enterprises (see Table B).

  • The number of annual corporate bankruptcies nevertheless remains significantly lower than the average level recorded over the 2010-2019 period, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (59,342 corporate bankruptcies, see Figure 1). Indeed, the number of corporate bankruptcies had been particularly low since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, due to the adoption of regulations temporarily granting additional time to both assess and report insolvency, and, later, cash support measures to avoid the occurrence of insolvency.

  • In an instantaneous view, the number of monthly bankruptcies also remains lower in February 2023 than in February 2019 (see chart 3).
To find out more: data on business start-ups are reported by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE): Business births on the INSEE's website
A - Corporate bankruptcies by sector
Bankruptcies in number of legal units, year on year change (%)
Aggregate over previous 12 months (a) (raw data)
2019 Jan. 23 Jan. 23/Jan. 22 Jan. 23/2019 Feb. 22 Feb. 23 prov. Feb. 23/Feb. 22 Feb. 23/2019
Business sector
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (AZ) 1,414 1,210 13.5% -14.4% 1,086 1,173 8.0% -17.0%
Industry (BE) 3,435 3,178 71.0% -7.5% 1,954 3,293 68.5% -4.1%
Construction (FZ) 11,089 8,685 42.3% -21.7% 6,320 8,863 40.2% -20.1%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (G) 11,137 9,494 55.9% -14.8% 6,265 9,715 55.1% -12.8%
Transportation and storage (H) 2,097 1,792 46.8% -14.5% 1,255 1,828 45.7% -12.8%
Accommodation and food service activities (I) 6,840 5,708 108.7% -16.5% 2,941 5,919 101.3% -13.5%
Information and communication (JZ) 1,277 1,230 40.9% -3.7% 877 1,292 47.3% 1.2%
Financial and insurance activities (KZ) 1,086 1,003 55.3% -7.6% 670 1,013 51.2% -6.7%
Real estate activities (LZ) 1,631 1,398 13.8% -14.3% 1,241 1,402 13.0% -14.0%
Advisory & Business support activities (MN) 5,813 4,938 34.0% -15.1% 3,775 5,022 33.0% -13.6%
Education, human health and social work services, Arts, entertainment and recreation, Other service activities (P to S) 5,140 4,231 64.7% -17.7% 2,678 4,281 59.9% -16.7%
All firms (b) 51,145 42,948 52.6% -16.0% 29,124 43,886 50.7% -14.2%
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early March 2023: final for January, provisional for February.
Calculation : Banque de France - Companies Directorate - Companies Observatory
a Aggregate number of corporate bankruptcies over the previous 12 months compared to the same aggregate one year before and in 2019 (January to December 2019).
b The line « All firms » includes legal units whose business sector is not known
B - Corporate bankruptcies by firm size
Bankruptcies in number of legal units, year on year change (%)
Aggregate over previous 12 months (a) (raw data)
2019 Jan. 23 Jan. 23/Jan. 22 Jan. 23/2019 Feb. 22 Feb. 23 prov. Feb. 23/Feb. 22 Feb. 23/2019
Size
SME, among them 51,119 42,914 52.6% -16.1% 29,103 43,848 50.7% -14.2%
Micro-enterprises and unknown firm's size 48,747 39,838 50.2% -18.3% 27,427 40,644 48.2% -16.6%
Very small firms 1,478 1,903 93.0% 28.8% 1,037 2,013 94.1% 36.2%
Small firms 650 885 96.2% 36.2% 480 901 87.7% 38.6%
Medium-size firms 244 288 82.3% 18.0% 159 290 82.4% 18.9%
ISE - Large Firms 26 34 41.7% 30.8% 21 38 81.0% 46.2%
All firms 51,145 42,948 52.6% -16.0% 29,124 43,886 50.7% -14.2%
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early March 2023: final for January, provisional for February.
Calculation : Banque de France - Companies Directorate - Companies Observatory.
a Aggregate number of corporate bankruptcies over the previous 12 months compared to the same aggregate one year before and in 2019 (January to December 2019).
C - Changes in corporate bankruptcies
1 - Number of bankruptcies
Cumulated over previous 12 months
From Dec. 1991 to January 2023 (+ February 2023 provisional)
Note: The dotted green curve represents the average value of the number of corporate bankruptcies over twelve months observed monthly between December 1991 and December 2019. The orange curve represents this average level over the period January 2010 - December 2019, which is a high for the observation period.
2 - Number of bankruptcies by sector
Cumulated over previous 12 months
From Dec. 2015 to January 2023 (+ February 2023 provisional)




3 - Monthly number of bankruptcies
From Jan. 2019 to January 2023 (+ February 2023 provisional)
4 - Loan amounts of bankrupt non-financial firms over loan amount of all firms - by firm size
Cumulated over previous 12 months
From Dec. 2006 to January 2023 (+ February 2023 provisional)
(in %)
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early March 2023 final for January, provisional for February.
More information on: methodology, time series, calendar
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Corporate bankruptcies
STAT INFO - February 2023
Contact: 1489-contenuwebstat-ut@banque-france.fr
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