In the first five months, nearly 1,800 businesses in the region were the subject of receivership proceedings or judicial liquidation. Although this number is higher than the 43 percent recorded in 2021, it remains lower than the 2,490 that was observed before the 2019 health crisis.
Although the company default rate remains low, it is still a good indicator of the trend. This is especially true for smaller companies with less than three employees who account for 80%. The percentage of companies with 20-200 employees failing is lower than it was at the beginning of Covid, which accounts for 2% of all judgments. This compares to the 3% that failed two years ago. The largest employers with over 200 employees show great resilience and are almost absent in collective proceedings. This favors, if needed, prevention measures that promote the company's rebound.
After a terrible start to the year the month of May brings some relief in the Loire et the Rhone. While the south of the territory is trying not to allow summer to arrive, the faults in the north are still growing in all departments.
At the Dauphine territory's beginning of May, the thousand business failures that had been accumulated in 2022 were crossed. This is 330 more businesses than in the same period 2021, but still 400 less than in 2019.
High pressure is applied to table catering. The situation is rapidly changing even if it has experienced very few defects in 2021. Over sixty establishments were placed in receivership and liquidation. This is a higher number than the one at the beginning of the crisis, but far less than the 100 judgments in 2019. This trend is also evident in general masonry. There are now sixty more procedures than at the beginning of 2020 and 2021. Hairdressing is extremely stressful. This sector is experiencing around 30 defaults, the worst start to the year for five years. The same is true for mini-markets and grocery stores, with more than 15 procedures, the most since 2017. However, this is not the case for mini-markets or grocery stores.
According to the INSEE's April 29 first estimate, growth in France in the first quarter 2022 was slow due to a decline in household consumption in food and clothing. These establishments are finding it difficult to resist being deprived of customers. These conditions led to more requests for judicial liquidations and reorganization. The 200-step limit was exceeded in April, compared to 160 last year.
More than 940 bankruptcy filings have been made since the beginning of the year, compared with 680 in the first four months 2021. The trend is now approaching 40%. However, the cumulative bankruptcy filings are still significantly lower than the 1,290 that were recorded in the same period 2019.
Although the return to risk is rapid, it should not obscure some positive news regarding production, corporate investment, and even exports. New measures could be taken to reduce the impact of inflation on household consumption, which is the main driver of French growth.
Business claims were at their lowest point in more than 30 years a year ago. However, they rebounded strongly at 2022's start. France was hit hard by the decline with 34% more business failures than in the same period in 2021. The increase was 37% in Dauphine.
The second quarter was not better and the loss ratio increased. Since January, almost 830 companies have been insolvent against 600 or less. The region was home to more than 1000 companies in mid-April 2019.
The deterioration in consumer activities is quite evident. In hair salons and beauty shops, the number of "bankruptcy deposit" has increased by two-fold. This is 76% for retail trade, and 57% for catering. Buildings are not left behind and show an increase of 42%. The road transport of goods is where tensions are at their highest, with three times as many failures than one year ago.
Read Business Failures: Are companies less affected than at the national level... but how long?
One year ago, a new variant of the virus put the country on alert. This required the adoption of new preventive measures as well as the continuation of public assistance. The number of insolvencies rose to their highest point in over thirty years, despite the fact that businesses remained strong. Only 520 companies were the subject of collective proceedings on the Dauphine territory in the first quarter 2021. The situation is quickly changing and there are already close to 720 defaults, which is about 30 more than at 2020's start. This is a 38% increase.
This reversal occurred in every department, both in March and the quarter. Drome-Ardeche is the most affected.
Construction claims are increasing (39%) in both structural work and finishing. Retail trade suffers from a faster rate of deterioration (68%) in food and household equipment, as well as ready-to wear. In catering, hairdressing and beauty care activities, the number of failed projects is on the rise.
All departments on the territory of Dauphine are in the red during the first half of March. Since the start of the year, 600 companies have failed, compared to 440 in the previous year. We are now closer to pre-Covid levels due to the steady rise in insolvencies. In 2022, the first quarter could see as many as 750 defects in comparison to 2020's first quarter.
98% of all procedures are opened by companies with less 20 employees. Three quarters of these companies have less than three employees. One quarter of all building failures are due to this one and it is also part of a disturbing trend that has been going on since the start of the year (80%). Since February, the restoration budget has been in the red. However, it is nowhere near the level of defects that was at the beginning of 2020.
The number of insolvencies in businesses increased for the fourth consecutive month in February, as expected. The region's annual insolvency rate is now at an all-time high of 2,000 defaults, for the first time since summer 2021. The number of judicial liquidations and reorganizations that were opened in November and December 2021 increased by more than 20%. Since the beginning of 2022, it has increased by 33%. January and February returned back to the 2019 values.
Every department is affected. Isere is experiencing rapid decline. In February, there were more than 60 bankruptcy filings (40%).
This turnaround can be seen in construction, particularly in general masonry and retail trade in particular clothing or catering.
February will see 200 more business failures than January. This will be the fourth consecutive month with increases. Isere, Ardeche and Drome had more bankruptcy filings in the last week than the entire February 2021. They are stabilizing in Vaucluse and the Hautes-Alpes regions of the territory. This week, the two Savoies could be in the red.
The cumulative value of all failures since the start of the year has increased by 19%. Although this is a significant trend, it doesn't erase the two-fold rapid declines that were observed over the Covid period. Therefore, the loss ratio of companies at year's beginning is still well below the level before the health crisis.
However, even with no public assistance, problems could arise for companies that are most vulnerable. The catering industry has been resisting in January and February. Retail trade is in trouble and insolvency proceedings are increasing sharply in the building sector.
The region is close to 200 business failures for the third month in a row. The territory also had 100 defects in January 2020 and 2019.
The first month of 2022 has seen a marked deterioration in Ain, Isere, and Savoie. Although the Drome was still in the green in January, it is now badly damaged in February. Cumulative data for the first five weeks shows a 15% increase in defaults compared to one year ago.
Three quarters of the companies were forced to liquidate after they arrived late at the court. The direct liquidation rate for Drome is 89%.
In the construction, automotive trade and repair, as well as road freight transport, the number of business failures are on the rise.
The good regional figure of 2021 business failures was below the threshold at 2,000 procedures, but it was higher than the 3,570 in 2019. This was due to the negative trends in November and December. The number of defects rose by 20%.
The increase in the number of judgments was less stark during the first three week of January 2022. During the first three week of 2021, 112 judgments were issued against 105. Despite this reverse, the number judgments recorded is still lower than the 150 that were recorded in the same weeks as January 2019 and 2020.
The majority (80%) of procedures are for very small businesses with less than three employees at the beginning of the year. A large portion of the defects are caused by trade, with a quarter concentrated in automobile garages. The second most damaged area is the finishing work on the building. The restoration is not affected. Since January 1, there have been around ten failed fast-food or seated establishments in the area.
The year ended in red, as expected. While the October numbers were stable, insolvencies rose 20% in November and December. All departments are experiencing a decline. The volume of defaults is still around 40% lower than at the beginning of 2019. In 2021, 1,923 companies were in process. This is 11% more than in 2020, and 46 % lower than in 2019.
December saw an increase in bankruptcy filings in construction and business services. Retail trade was the most affected. However, restoration is very much on the horizon. Small businesses with less than three employees are especially affected.