957 Belgian companies go bankrupt in March 2023

Reading Time 4 minutes | Written by Shirley Chih | April 21, 2023

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Brussels, April 21, 2023 In March, 957 companies went bankrupt in Belgium. Compared to the same period last year, this corresponds to a 7.6% drop. This was established by business data specialist Altares Dun & Bradstreet after analysing the most recent figures.

Bankruptcies Trend Q1

In Q1 of 2023, there is a noticeable upward trend in the bankruptcy curve. This striking trend can also be observed in the first three months of 2021 and 2022. The number of bankruptcies this month is lower than in the same period in 2022 (1,036) and higher than in the same period in 2021 (770).

Top 3 sectors with the most bankruptcies

In March, we saw the highest number of bankruptcies in the trade sector (215). The construction sector came next with a total of 209 bankruptcies. The hospitality sector was in third place with 162 bankruptcies. Together, these three sectors represent 61% of the total number of bankruptcies.

If we zoom in on the trade sector, we see that most bankruptcies in the retail category happened in non-specialised stores with a sales area of less than 100 m², which mainly sell food, beverages and tobacco (14). Last month, we also saw the highest number of bankruptcies within this category in the trade sector.

In a world of economic uncertainty, Joris Peeters, Chief Data Scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet, sheds light on the situation. His words are reassuring: “Although bankruptcies have increased in recent months, we are still below pre-pandemic levels. Historically, we would expect a period of low economic growth or a recession to be accompanied by a significant increase in bankruptcies, but it seems that this is not yet the case.”

However, Peeters warns that we cannot be complacent. Unstable energy costs, inflation and high wages could be the straw that breaks the camel's back for many organisations in the coming months. Still, this is all part of a healthy, dynamic economy. It is important to realise that we still face challenges and that caution is advised.

View the full report (in Dutch) here.

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Shirley Chih

Marketing & Communications Officer

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