Several sectors at risk of bankruptcy

A hangar filled with wooden planks.

(01.11.2023) The cases of insolvency increased by 8% in the first three quarters of 2023, according to the consulting firm Dun & Bradstreet. Between January 1st and September 30th, 2023, 3,845 companies had to file for bankruptcy in Switzerland, compared to 3,552 in the same period in 2022.

According to the study authors, the risk of insolvency varies significantly depending on the industry. The wood and furniture industry experienced three times more bankruptcies than the average. Craftsmanship (2.3 times more), hospitality/restaurants (2.3 times more), and construction (2 times more) are the most exposed sectors.

Conversely, the real estate management and brokerage sector recorded nearly three times fewer (0.4) bankruptcies than the average, holding and investment companies (0.5), as well as architecture offices (0.5) about twice less than the average. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing (1.1), and retail (1) are close to the average.

With the exception of Central Switzerland, where the number of bankruptcies remains stable, no region is spared: the Mittelland region (+17%) and Ticino (+13%) remain the most affected, followed closely by Northwestern Switzerland (+11%) and the Zurich region (+10%). The phenomenon is generally less pronounced in the Lake Geneva region (+5%)—where Geneva even records a decrease of 4%—as well as in Eastern Switzerland (+5%).


However, the overall increase in bankruptcies is accompanied by a slight rise in business creations. The report records 38,325 new registrations in the commercial register in the first three quarters of 2023, compared to 37,091 in 2022 (+3%). Although the phenomenon is observed in all regions, it is particularly noticeable in Northwestern Switzerland (+7%) and Eastern Switzerland (+6%), while remaining almost negligible in Ticino (+0.5%). It is worth noting that in September, the number of company creations decreased by 4% on a year-on-year basis.


Last modification 01.11.2023

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