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Business

Business insolvencies edge up in Germany

The number of German businesses that went bust in the first half of 2013 was higher than in the same period last year. Experts attribute the first rise in three years to sluggish economic growth at the beginning of 2013.

ARCHIv - Eine Außenansicht des Praktiker Baumarktes in Kaiserslautern (Foto 09.02.2012). Die Baumarktkette Praktiker steht vor der Pleite. Neben dem Insolvenzgrund der Überschuldung sei auch die Zahlungsunfähigkeit der Praktiker AG gegeben, teilte das Unternehmen am Mittwochabend in Hamburg mit. Foto: Oliver Dietze dpa/lrs +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Praktiker Baumarkt vor Insolvenz

Between January and June this year 15,349 German businesses filed for insolvency, which was 1.8 percent more than during the same period last year, according to the Bürgel company data service.

According to the latest figures released by Bürgel on Thursday, the six-month increase was the first since 2009 and accounted for commercial losses totaling 16.3 billion euros ($21.4 billion).

Bankruptcies edged up especially in the manufacturing and services sector, said Bürgel Chief Executive Norbert Sellin in a statement, as sluggish demand in the first quarter of this year had forced companies to shelve investments. Moreover, uncertainty caused by the eurozone crisis had clouded business in the period.

Sellin also said that bankruptcies in the second half of 2013 were expected to continue rising, but at a slower pace. He estimated the total number of German firms going bust in 2013 at about 30,000 - some 900 or three percent more than in 2012.

As in previous years, the percentage of new businesses that failed were higher than the overall average, making up about a quarter of all bankruptcies with a total number of 3,808 filings.

However, there were also a number of high-profile insolvencies, Bürgel noted, the biggest of which was the bankruptcy of German DIY stores chain Praktiker involving job losses for about 15,000 people.

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