In total, 3,271 companies in the Netherlands went bust in 2023, up over 50% on the previous year. But the total is still down some 500 on 2019, before coronavirus struck.
Government support for companies hit by lockdowns and other coronavirus measures is known to have kept some firms afloat that may otherwise have been forced to close down. The lowest bankruptcy total on record was in 2021 at the height of the pandemic, when just 1818 firms went bust.
The biggest sector to be affected last year was trade, which includes retail, and in which 682 firms went bust. The construction sector was in second place with 479 bankruptcies.
The number of hospitality industry bankruptcies almost doubled to 267. Earlier this week the CBS said some 12% of café, bar and restaurant owners are worried about their debts, twice the rate across the private sector as a whole.
The Netherlands entered a light recession last year, as interest rates rose, but the Dutch central bank expects it will be 2025 before the economy returns to “normal”, with growth in the region of 2%.
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