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By Markus Kuger Chief Economist Dun & Bradstreet Inc May 28, 2019

Credit Risks Arise in the World Economy amid Falling Bankruptcies

Business failures have declined globally, despite increased economic challenges, according to Dun & Bradstreet’s 2019 Global Bankruptcy Report.

Overview of Global Payment Trends

Forty-nine percent (49%) of all countries in the Global Bankruptcy Report saw a drop in the number of business failures in 2018 against the previous year, despite economic uncertainties in the United States, China, Japan, and the euro zone. Potential economic challenges include continuing trade frictions between the U.S. and China, the UK’s Brexit from the EU, and China’s consumer spending slowdown.

The report, compiled by Dun & Bradstreet’s Worldwide Network indicates that while business failures have dropped in several large economies, 18 economies (41.9%) saw an increase. In 2017, 35% of countries recorded an increase, signaling a worsening trend.

Russia and Japan saw a decreasing trend in the number of business failures in 2018, while failures in the U.S., Germany and Italy were down by 3%, 3.9% and 5.8% respectively.

Payment analysis also showed that bills in Germany were paid 6.7 days late in Q4 2018, much better than the European average of 13.3 days. In the UK, business to business payment performance improved from 14.7 days in Q2 to 13.7 days in Q1 2019, with payment performance only slightly worse than the European average. In the US, the likelihood a business will pay more than 90 days later than agreed terms, fell to a five-and-a-half year low in February 2019 according to Dun & Bradstreet’s Commercial Credit Score.

“The Global Bankruptcy report is yet another reminder of the continuing challenges many businesses face in this current uncertain climate,” Markus Kuger, Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet said. “Our growth forecasts for 2019 have been revised downwards since the start of the year and slower growth is expected in most regions.”


This Global Bankruptcy Report covers bankruptcy data from 45 markets and covers two new markets: Colombia and India. The following World Wide Network members contributed with their local bankruptcy data, to allow the creation of this report: Altares, Bisnode, CIAL Dun & Bradstreet, CRIF, D&B Hong Kong, D&B India, D&B Indonesia, D&B Israel, D&B Singapore, D&B Taiwan, D&B Thailand, Dun & Bradstreet US/Canada, D&B UK, Huaxia D&B China, ICAP, Informa, Interfax, Nice D&B and TSR.

The data compiled has been analyzed and edited by Dun & Bradstreet’s Country Insight team of experienced economists.

To read the complete Global Bankruptcy Report, click the button below.