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Economy

German bankruptcies decline as economy holds up

As the German economy has avoided slipping back into recession in 2012, fewer businesses have had to declare themselves bankrupt, according to the latest figures. Amid rising wages, consumer insolvencies also declined.

In the first nine months of 2012, about 21,800 German businesses registered insolvent, according to the Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, which was 4.6 percent fewer than in the same period a year ago.

Private insolvencies declined 5.2 percent to 74,500, as people's incomes rose on the back of modest but steady economic growth in Germany between January and September.

However, a small number of high-profile bankruptcies, like the one of the German drugstore chain Schlecker early in 2012, caused the volume of unpaid insolvency debt to surge from 24 billion euros ($31 billion) to 39 billion euros, Destatis said.

The monthly figure for September shows a steeper decline in both corporate and private bankruptcy numbers, which dropped 17 percent and 19.2 percent respectively.

Based on the current trend and the monthly data, Destatis predicted an overall decline in 2012 insolvencies to 153,000, from 159,000 in 2011.

uhe (dpa, dapd)