FalkenSteg Insolvency Indicator 02/2020: Rising number of applications at the beginning of the year as a starting signal for the crisis?

The economic slowdown will soon be clearly reflected in corporate insolvencies. Last year, some 19,400 companies had to go to the insolvency court. This means that the number of corporate insolvencies remained almost unchanged compared with 2018, but the downward trend seems to be reaching its limits. Even among companies with a turnover of more than 5 million euros, the figure rose by a leap of 25 percent last year. However, at around 5 percent, their share of the total insolvency volume is rather small. Nevertheless, this size category includes all economically relevant companies and corporate groups. By 2018, the corresponding insolvency figures for this cluster had stagnated around the 400 mark. One year later, 521 companies filed for insolvency, which means at least two every working day (Monday to Friday). And even in January 2020, the figure continued to rise slightly, with 2.1 applications per working day.

The emerging economic problems and economic risks will only become apparent in the insolvency figures in the course of this or next year. However, it is already clear today that the impact of the coronavirus on supply chains to Germany will be considerable. There are now 800 German companies from the mechanical and plant engineering sector operating in the country, 350 of which have their own production facilities. The dependency in the German electrical industry is similar. Around 27 percent of electrical imports come from China.

FalkenSteg Research continuously analyses the insolvency situation and aims to increase transparency in the development of insolvencies with the insolvency indicator. To this end, basic data (including the date of filing, opening of proceedings, sector and type of proceedings) from published resolutions, media reports and company information are collected and supplemented with further key figures from economic databases.