Corporate bankruptcy levels continue to rise in the first quarter of 2023

In April, the Altares firm published a report presenting the latest data on business failures in the first quarter of 2023.

Data reaching pre-crisis levels

The year 2023 continues the progress started last year, resulting in 42,500 bankruptcy proceedings. After a period of respite from the start of the health crisis, the number of failures increased by 50% last year. Figures that tend towards pre-crisis looking at the latest published data. Also, with an increase of 43.6%. In the first quarter of 2022, trade defaults rose to 2018 levels. Moreover, no less than 10,730 direct judicial liquidations took place between January and March. At its highest level since 2017, a number that sets the tone. Indeed, all failures must “near or even over the 55,000 mark” For this year, as predicted by Thierry Millon, director of studies for the Altares group.

VSEs and SMEs struggling to stay afloat

After a period of two years when companies were able to rise above water thanks to state aid, the situation is quite different at present. The bad economic situation, marked by inflation, shortage of raw materials and energy crisis in particular, does not allow companies to achieve sufficient level of income, especially since they are repaying various loans taken during the pandemic.

Although VSEs have not been spared and represent the majority of failures, it is the level reached by PME that is ringing alarm bells. With 1,125 failures recorded for SMEs and ETIs, the limit is now comparable to that of 2015. These vulnerabilities are a real threat to employment. When a company in these categories sees its activity cease, it is not only the employees and their employers who find themselves without activity, but in fact the entire organization made up of suppliers, service providers, subcontractors and many others. The cascading value chain, whose work and associated income is substantially affected.

Multiple failures that are likely to reach the record levels seen between 2009 and 2015 in the next half of the year and that will be justified to a large extent by the extortion of the URSSF, as Thierry Millon was able to declare.

Multiple failures that are likely to reach record levels seen between 2009 and 2015 in the next half of the year and that will be largely justified by URSSF extortion

Thierry Millon, director of studies for Altares Group

Real estate agencies, retail trade and road transport of goods are the most vulnerable in this context. At the same time, industry and construction are comparatively spared.

average figures

Although these figures are challenging, experts are adamant: the beginning of 2023 is far from signing a record number of failures and the forecasts announced are not alarming at the moment. According to data from the last few years, even decades, it is not uncommon to see the number of failures recorded near 50,000, which also represents the annual average. The same is true for those recorded in the first quarter of 2023, which are within the average calculated by Altares over 25 years.

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