Bankruptcies on a monthly basis

September 2020: 729 bankruptcies

Economic indicators
September 2020: 729 bankruptcies

729 enterprises were declared bankrupt in Belgium in September 2020.

Bankruptcies registered in September resulted in 1,371 job losses: 813 full-time jobs, 250 part-time jobs and 308 salaried employers.

The sectors with the highest numbers of bankruptcies in September: 271 bankruptcies in transportation and other service activities, 157 in trade , 142 construction and 125 in accommodation and food service activities.

At regional level, there were 383 bankruptcies in Flanders, 205 in Wallonia and 141 in Brussels.

When interpreting the figures, account should be taken of the fact that there is a certain delay between the termination of the economic activity and the notification of bankruptcy by the business court. As a result, the economic impact is only reflected in the figures after a certain period of time.

Moreover, because of the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdown, business courts and registries limited their activities until 18 May. A temporary moratorium was also in force until 17 June 2020 in order to protect enterprises that were healthy before 18 March 2020 from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis

Since then, business courts have gradually resumed their activities, but, for July and August, the judicial recess should be taken into account when interpreting the figures. Courts remain open during this period but the number of hearings is reduced. The public measures described above and the recess have probably had a mitigating effect on the number of bankruptcies pronounced from March to August.

Furthermore, many measures are still in force - at federal, regional and local level - to support enterprises in this crisis period. Examples are the deferment of payment of social security contributions (until 15 December 2020) and of the annual company contribution (until 31 October 2020).

Purpose and brief description

Every month, Statbel calculates the bankruptcy figures for the previous month. The figures are published around 15 days after the reference month.  On this date, the bankruptcy figures are final. In addition to the monthly figures, Statbel can also make interim weekly estimates. These weekly figures make it possible to quickly observe the first trends. In addition to the figures on the number of bankruptcies, Statbel also always calculates the related job losses. For the job losses, Statbel uses the latest information available from the NSSO.

The bankruptcy statistics produced by Statbel are based on data from the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises (CBE) and the statistical business register. When interpreting the figures, account should be taken of the fact that there is some delay between the cessation of the economic activity and the declaration of bankruptcy by the business court. As a result, an economic impact is only visible in the figures with some delay.

Because of the measures taken during the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdown, business courts and registries limited their activities until 18 May 2020. Furthermore, until 17 June 2020, a temporary moratorium was in force in order to protect the enterprises that were in good health before 18 March 2020 against the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

In the meantime, the business courts have gradually resumed their activities, but for the months of July and August, the judicial summer recess must be taken into account when interpreting the figures. During this period, although the courts remained open, there were fewer hearings. The government measures described above and the summer recess are likely to have a mitigating effect on the number of pronounced bankruptcies from March to August.

There are also many ongoing measures - at federal, regional and local level - to support enterprises in this period of crisis. The deferred payment of the social security contributions (until 15 December 2020) and the annual company contribution (until 31 October 2020) are examples of such measures.

Population

Enterprises subject to the law of 11 August 2017 adding a new Book XX ‘Insolvency of Enterprises’ to the Economic Law Code, and introducing the definitions specific to Book XX and the implementing provisions specific to Book XX in the Book I of the Economic Law Code, as published in the Belgian Official Journal on 11 September 2017. Title VI of Book XX contains the rules on bankruptcy.

Frequency

Monthly

Timing of publication

The publication of the monthly bankruptcy figures takes place around 15 days after the reference month.

Definition

Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy is pronounced as soon as an enterprise meets two conditions:

  • The enterprise is no longer able to pay its bills;
  • The enterprise does not find any new credits.

A bankruptcy always concerns one enterprise. A legal arrangement in which several persons have set up the same enterprise is counted as one bankruptcy.

Job losses

Statbel calculates the job losses related to a bankruptcy based on the latest information available from the NSSO.

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