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German insolvencies and liabilities increase

October 12, 2012 Deutsche Welle
Statisticians have warned the number of both corporate and household insolvencies is on the rise again in Germany. But an independent study by an insurance group shows neighboring France has been doing even worse.

Over 2,500 German companies went bankrupt in July, fresh data from the National Statistics Office (Destatis) showed on Friday. The number marked a 1.9-percent jump in corporate insolvencies year-on-year.

Household insolvencies increased by 2.8 percent in the same month, with almost 9,000 cases registered by district courts across Germany.

Open receivables for July amounted to 3.6 billion euros ($4.6 billion), up from 2.2 billion euros in the same month last year.

Cross-border comparison

The rise in July insolvencies did not yet offset a decline in bankruptcies in previous months. Between January and July 2012, 17,356 firms went bust - that's 2.2 percent less than in the same period last year. The number of household insolvencies declined even by 2.9 percent.

A study by French insurance group Coface showed German companies were generally more robust than French firms because the latter tended to be much smaller and disposed of lower capital stocks, making them more vulnerable to short-term economic slumps.

But while the number of insolvencies has been much higher in France for years, resulting liabilities have been much bigger in Germany. Germany logged 20 billion euros in receivables throughout 2011, while France only posted 14.3 billion euros in resources claimed by creditors.