865 Belgian companies went bankrupt in February 2023

Reading Time 4 minutes | Written by Anne de Geus | March 17, 2023

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Brussels, March 17, 2023 - In February 2023, 865 companies went bankrupt in Belgium. This is 66 more than in the same period last year, an increase of about 8%. This is what emerges from the Altares Dun & Bradstreet report after analysis of their latest statistics.

The growing trend of bankruptcies continues

Since October 2022, the bankruptcy curve has been rising. We are well below the level of June 2022, when Altares observed 1176 bankruptcies, but also well below February 2019 (before the crisis) when there were more than 1200 bankruptcies.

Trade and hotel and catering most in difficulty

In February, it was the trade sector that went bankrupt (177). It is followed by the horeca and construction sectors, with 173 bankruptcies each. These three sectors represent 60% of all bankruptcies in February. If we analyse the trade sector in more detail, the category with the most bankruptcies (19) is small non-specialised food shops (less than 100m2).

Joris Peeters, chief data scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet: Our data shows that bankruptcies have been following an increasing curve since October 2022. We have not yet reached pre-corona levels, but our figures show that the intensity of trading is increasing. In other words, more and more companies are trading with other companies. The flow of invoices is increasing and, in a more dynamic economy, bankruptcies are increasing. The increase is therefore in line with expectations. We expect that more and more 'dormant' companies will start up again in the coming months. The number of bankruptcies could continue to rise to the pre-health crisis level.

View the full report (in Dutch) here.

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