The return to ‘normality’ in the third quarter of the year brought with it a sharp increase in the number of bankruptcy proceedings in Spain. Only in the pandemic so far, a total of 1,740 companies they have declared themselves unable to cope with their debts and have started their bankruptcy process.
The statistics published by the INE show a 43% increase in processes registered between the third and second quarters. And a large part of this increase has as its epicenter the hospitality industry, one of the sectors hardest hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Beyond ZalacaÃn, which announced its closure yesterday after months in the economic UVI, another 169 catering establishments chose to permanently close their blinds between the months of April and September. Most of them ended up doing it in the final stretch of the summer, weighed down by the restrictions brought about by the new wave of infections throughout the country.
The data that best illustrates the crisis in which the sector is immersed is the 20% increase in the number of tenders compared to the same period of the previous year. The hotel industry is the only one of all the economic activities analyzed by the public body in which there is already a increase in bankruptcies compared to 2019. If only the two third quarters of each year are compared, the rise is 87%.
In the rest of the sectors, the tenders are still smaller than a year ago because the financial aid mechanisms promoted by the ICO have allowed the deferral of debts, a legal ‘shield’ included in the royal decree of State of Alarm allows companies to continue operating until December 31 despite being in a situation of insolvency and, thirdly, there is less activity due to the closing of records during the months of confinement.
The bankruptcy of bars extends throughout Spain but it is noticeable, especially, in autonomies such as Madrid or the Generalitat Valenciana. In the central region, a total of 49 companies dedicated to the hotel industry have filed for bankruptcy in the last six months, 69% more. In this sad list only establishments that had some type of financial or commercial debt are registered, and therefore those other bars and small restaurants that were healthy before the outbreak of the crisis but that have decided to take the closing due to the decline in billing.
The figure for the hotel business contrasts with that of the other economic activities. Competitions soared at a general level between the months of July and September with respect to the second quarter, although the figure is lower than in the same period of the previous year for the reasons already mentioned.
The sectors that register the greatest increase in bankruptcies, behind the hotel industry, are commerce, real estate and administrative or auxiliary services activities. On the other hand, the industry is better resisting the pandemic for now after having been able to resume its production processes with apparent normality, while in the energy sector bankruptcies are reduced compared to 2019.
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