The year 2022 ended with 42,500 openings of legal proceedings. A level always lower than the pre-crisis, but the rhythm of the catch-up is accelerating.
Failives indeed increased up in 2022, after a parenthesis of two years during which the companies were kept their heads out of the water. According to figures from the Altares group published Tuesday, January 17, 42,500 procedures were opened in 2022, which represents an increase of 49.9 % compared to 2021.
If the volume of bankruptcies remains lower than a “normal” year, with around 50,000 companies in default, the catch -up is rapid. “The rhythm is more sustained than visiting, bringing together a return to the pre-crisis values earlier than expected,” said Thierry Millon, director of studies of the Altares group.
Since 2020, a total of 103,000 companies have been lacking against 162,000 in the previous three years. It is therefore nearly 60,000 failures that could have been avoided by public aid, first to deal with the consequences of the Pandemic of Covid-19, then to accompany the increase in energy prices.
“Inability to honor command notebooks”
Beyond this expected “standardization”, the figures published by Altares reveal the weaknesses of the economic fabric, confronted, after two years of pandemic, with the energy crisis. With 3,214 procedures opened in 2022, the acceleration of bankruptcies is very strong (+ 78 %) in the ranks of SMEs with less than 100 employees. Young companies under the age of three appear particularly vulnerable: failures have almost doubled (+ 94 %) in this category.
According to the figures communicated by the commercial courts on January 5, 30 % of companies struck off in 2022 had been created less than two years earlier. Finally, the total number of jobs threatened by a liquidation or legal proceedings has returned above the 140,000 mark, or 50,000 additional jobs in one year.
While the year 2022 is expected to end up with an increase in the gross domestic product of 2.6 %, these bankruptcies are not necessarily linked to an atony of the activity, quite the contrary. “For some VSEs and SMEs, it is their inability to honor well-filled command notebooks that could bring them to the default”, analyzes Mr. Millon.
Problems come rather “from supply difficulties, the explosion of material costs and recruitment problems”. The most affected sectors are also among those who face particularly heavy energy bills or who are most struggling to find labor: catering, bakery, masonry, hairdressing salons, Cafés…
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