The wave of bankruptcies among German companies eased somewhat in November. The number of regular insolvencies filed at the local courts rose by 18.8 percent compared to the same month last year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office.

But that was almost four percentage points less than in October with an increase of 22.4 percent. The growth rates have been in double digits since June.

In recent years, many companies have been saved from insolvency with government aid due to Corona and the energy crisis. Experts therefore see the current increase as more of a normalization. The current figures are also significantly below the index value of the statistics from 2015. The procedures are only included in the statistics after the first decision of the insolvency court. In many cases, the actual date of the insolvency application was almost three months earlier.

The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned that the slower increase is no reason to give the all-clear. “High costs for energy, interest rates, but also for labor combined with weak demand and a shortage of skilled workers are bringing more and more companies into financial difficulties,” said medium-sized business expert Marc Evers.

Real estate sector particularly affected

The professional association of insolvency administrators (VID) sees the real estate industry in particular as undergoing a fundamental transformation process. “The Signa case clearly shows that there were many companies that invested in the real estate segment during the low interest rate phase. As long as the interest rate was low, the business model was successful. Since mid-2022, however, we have seen interest rate increases and a consistent correction of prices and valuations.” said VID chairman Christoph Niering. But no disruptive wave of insolvencies is expected.

The Federal Office presented final figures for the first three quarters of this year. Accordingly, the district courts reported 13,270 filed corporate insolvencies in the nine months. That was 24.7 percent more than a year before. The creditors are demanding 21.1 billion euros in the proceedings, compared to 10.8 billion euros in the same period last year.