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Bankruptcies up even before coronavirus crisis

The number of bankruptcies in Finland rose during the first quarter, even before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Construction was one sector that saw bankruptcies rise earlier this year. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

The full toll of the ongoing coronavirus crisis on business in Finland is still unknown. Even so, available data show an increase in the number of firms closing up shop at the beginning of the year.

Altogether 722 companies filed for bankruptcy in Finland during the first three months of this year, an increase of 14 percent over the same quarter of 2019, according to Statistics Finland.

The number of employees directly affected in companies filing bankruptcy stood at more than 3,400.

Statistics Finland points out that these first quarter figures do not yet reflect the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on business and industry. The number of bankruptcies filed in March was at the same level as one year previously.

Bankruptcies grew most in the service sector, including real estate services, administration and support services, training, healthcare and social services, as well as in arts and entertainment.

Other sectors also showing an increase were mining, construction, retail trade, and the hospitality and restaurant industry.