The number of German citizens declaring bankruptcy continues to rise rapidly, the Hamburg-based Bürgel Credit Agency reported on Thursday. In the first half of 2004, 41,063 citizens said they were unable to meet their financial obligations -- 28 percent more than in the same period last year. More than a third of those filing for bankruptcy were women. Also on Thursday, German credit insurer Euler Hermes released its prognosis of 40,500 company bankruptcies for 2004, an increase of 3 percent over last year. Euler Hermes CEO Gerd-Uwe Baden said a reversal of this trend can only be achieved if Germany experiences lasting economic growth, and if companies start making more provisions for their own future financial security.