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German firms spared insolvency spike despite pandemic

BERLIN, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The number of firms declaring insolvency in Germany was 6.2% lower than in the first half of last year despite the coronavirus crisis, the Statistics Office said, partly because of a rule designed to keep firms afloat in the pandemic.

There were 9,006 corporate insolvencies in the first year of 2020, a sixth of them coming from the retail sector, which was especially hard-hit by lockdowns to stem the virus’s spread. Construction and hospitality also notched up more than 1,000 insolvencies.

“The economic pain many companies have suffered in the coronavirus crisis is not so far reflected in the number of declared insolvencies,” the Office said on Thursday. “One reason is that the obligation to declare insolvency has been suspended since March 1.” (Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Scot W. Stevenson)