Business failures - France 2023Mar

At the end of March, the number of corporate bankruptcies increased but remained below its average pre-pandemic level



  • The rise in the number of corporate bankruptcies initiated in fall 2021 continues. Over one year (between April 2022 and March 2023), it reaches 45,120 against 30,285 a year earlier (see Figure 1, as well as Tables A and B).


  • This upward trend also affects the various sectors of the economy (see Figure 2). It is more pronounced for SMEs (excluding microenterprises and indeterminate sizes).


  • 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.
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 Feb. 23 Feb. 23/Feb. 22 Feb. 23/2019 Mar. 22 Mar. 23 prov. Mar. 23/Mar. 22 Mar. 23/2019
Business sector
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (AZ) 1,414 1,200 10.7% -15.1% 1,092 1,155 5.8% -18.3%
Industry (BE) 3,435 3,304 69.3% -3.8% 2,020 3,394 68.0% -1.2%
Construction (FZ) 11,089 8,900 40.7% -19.7% 6,448 9,167 42.2% -17.3%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (G) 11,137 9,745 55.6% -12.5% 6,570 10,049 53.0% -9.8%
Transportation and storage (H) 2,097 1,830 46.0% -12.7% 1,291 1,863 44.3% -11.2%
Accommodation and food service activities (I) 6,840 5,933 101.9% -13.3% 3,231 6,104 88.9% -10.8%
Information and communication (JZ) 1,277 1,291 47.2% 1.1% 925 1,323 43.0% 3.6%
Financial and insurance activities (KZ) 1,086 1,021 52.2% -6.0% 703 1,066 51.6% -1.8%
Real estate activities (LZ) 1,631 1,426 14.9% -12.6% 1,244 1,428 14.8% -12.4%
Advisory & Business support activities (MN) 5,813 5,043 33.6% -13.2% 3,840 5,192 35.2% -10.7%
Education, human health and social work services, Arts, entertainment and recreation, Other service activities (P to S) 5,140 4,346 62.3% -15.4% 2,858 4,297 50.3% -16.4%
All firms (b) 51,145 44,124 51.5% -13.7% 30,285 45,120 49.0% -11.8%
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early April 2023: final for February, provisional for March.
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 Feb. 23 Feb. 23/Feb. 22 Feb. 23/2019 Mar. 22 Mar. 23 prov. Mar. 23/Mar. 22 Mar. 23/2019
Size
SME, among them 51,119 44,087 51.5% -13.8% 30,263 45,081 49.0% -11.8%
Micro-enterprises and unknown firm's size 48,747 40,876 49.1% -16.1% 28,473 41,736 46.6% -14.4%
Very small firms 1,478 2,015 93.8% 36.3% 1,124 2,081 85.1% 40.8%
Small firms 650 902 88.3% 38.8% 509 952 87.0% 46.5%
Medium-size firms 244 294 84.9% 20.5% 157 312 98.7% 27.9%
ISE - Large Firms 26 37 76.2% 42.3% 22 39 77.3% 50.0%
All firms 51,145 44,124 51.5% -13.7% 30,285 45,120 49.0% -11.8%
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early April 2023: final for February, provisional for March.
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 February 2023 (+ March 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 February 2023 (+ March 2023 provisional)




3 - Monthly number of bankruptcies
From Jan. 2019 to February 2023 (+ March 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 February 2023 (+ March 2023 provisional)
(in %)
Source: Banque de France - database: Fiben. Data available in early April 2023 final for February, provisional for March.
More information on: methodology, time series, calendar
All the series published by the Banque de France are available at the following address
Webstat Banque de France
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Corporate bankruptcies
STAT INFO - March 2023
Contact: 1489-contenuwebstat-ut@banque-france.fr

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Business failures - France
  • Published on 04/06/2023
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Published on Thursday, April 6, 2023