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Business

Record German Corporate Failures in 2004

The number of companies that went bust in Germany last year stood at 39,213, not far off the previous year's record of 39,320, data published by the federal statistics office, Destatis, on Friday showed. The total number of insolvencies, including private individuals and other organizations, jumped by 17.4 percent to 118,274 in 2004, Destatis calculated. And the outlook for 2005 is far from encouraging. At the beginning of this year, top German construction firm Walter Bau filed for creditor protection, saying it could not pay its debts. Labor unions estimate that 3,000 of Walter Bau's 9,000-strong workforce could lose their jobs at a time when unemployment in Germany stands at a postwar high of more than five million, or 12.6 percent.

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