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    Bankruptcies at lowest level for six years

    In 2016, 10,066 businesses had to close in Belgium. This is a reduction of 5.1% compared to 2015, according to Graydon, the financial information service. The number of bankruptcies is thus the lowest in Belgium since 2010.

    However, this trend towards a decrease should be qualified. Over the first seven months of 2016, there were fewer business failures than a year earlier.

    However, from August the number of such incidences began to rise again. Graydon notes that a reduction was, once again, seen in December.

    The situation differs markedly between regions. Brussels witnessed a reduction of 7.4% in the number of bankruptcies last year (2,012 cases), compared to Wallonia’s 13.9% (2,594 bankruptcies).

    On the other hand, Flanders saw an increase of 0.5% compared to 2015.

    The majority of sectors saw a reduction in the number of bankruptcies, except for the hotel and catering industry.

    At national level, 1,988 hotels, restaurants or cafés closed down, or 74 more (an increase of 4.3%) than in 2015. One in five bankruptcies related to an establishment in this sector (19.8%), indeed a record number.

    Graydon states that the situation is particularly alarming in West Flanders, with 224 bankruptcies in the province (an increase of 42.7%) last year.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times