A difficult start to the year for companies. The number of insolvencies increased by 31%.

Luc Williams

According to Coface data, most companies – 314 went bankrupt in the Masovian Voivodeship, followed by Silesia with 212 insolvencies, followed by Małopolska – 156 and Greater Poland – 144. The industries that recorded the highest growth rate in the number of insolvent companies were construction – 245 enterprises and transport – 228.

As Barbara Kamińska, director of the Coface Risk Assessment Department in Poland, says, in recent quarters the construction industry has been faced with weakening demand on the one hand and cost challenges on the other. “Inflation and persistent shortages of construction workers created pressure on wage increases,” he points out.

In turn, the number of insolvencies in transport, according to Coface, has been increasing for some time. “2023 was characterized by a reduction in transport orders, both domestic and international, and this was reflected in a decline in transport rates. On the other hand, the debt of companies from the TLS industry generated high interest costs, and the mobility package forced an increase in employee costs in the case of companies providing services international. High inflation was also important – with a shortage of drivers, it increased the overall wage pressure,” says Barbara Kamińska.

What factors influenced the increase in the number of insolvent companies

Coface emphasizes that although the first signs of expected recovery are already visible in the Polish economy, the high number of insolvencies was negatively influenced by factors from last year: inflation and high interest rates, wage pressure, high energy costs and economic decline in Poland and European Union countries.

As Coface points out, economists indicate that the increasing number of insolvencies year by year is driven by legal changes made in recent years. The current provisions give companies more opportunities to carry out restructuring proceedings, which allows us to believe that some enterprises will return to effective business operations after undergoing healing restructuring – say the authors of the study.

“Despite the unstable situation abroad, we expect that the economic situation in Poland will continue to improve and economic growth will accelerate to 2.8% in 2024.” – says Grzegorz Sielewicz, Chief Economist of Coface in Poland and the Central European Region. The main driving force of the Polish economy will again be household consumption – he notes. (PAP)


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