TOKYO (Kyodo) — The number of corporate bankruptcies jumped 7.6 percent in January from a year earlier to 1,174, hitting a four-year high for the month on a surge in large-scale bankruptcies, a private credit research agency said Wednesday.
Debts left by the failed companies totaled 581.23 billion yen, up 1.3 percent, the first increase in three years for the month, Tokyo Shoko Research said.
The number of large-scale bankruptcies with debts exceeding 1 billion yen surged 50 percent to 81, breaching the 80 mark for the first time in three years and nine months, the institute said.
Corporate failures among smaller firms also increased, accounting for 64.6 percent of the total.
A total of 309 construction firms collapsed, up 8.4 percent from a year earlier, with 11 going under due to tougher building regulations introduced in June, the agency said.
Besides the construction industry, bankruptcies are on an upward trend in the transport and manufacturing sectors with soaring fuel and raw materials costs hurting their businesses, it said.
Of the 10 industrial sectors the survey covered, nine saw higher numbers of bankruptcies and only the services industry registered a decrease.
Corporate failures in the information and telecommunications sector increased 13.8 percent to 41, the highest over the past year, the institute said.
The statistics cover bankrupt companies with debts of 10 million yen or more.
According to another private research firm, Teikoku Databank, the number of corporate bankruptcies in January dipped 0.3 percent from a year ago to 888 with debts totaling 389.06 billion yen, down 5.7 percent.
The report covers only failures filed with courts and involving debts of 10 million yen or more.