There were 74 corporate insolvencies registered in the third quarter of 2023. Thereof, 35 were active in the previous year, which is a 46% increase from the same quarter in 2022, when they were 24. Thereof, there were 13 insolvencies in construction, 3 in wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair, 10 in tourism industries, and 9 in other industries.

On average, there were 233 employees in the previous year for companies made insolvent in the third quarter of 2023, which is a 167% increase from the same quarter of 2022, when they were 87. There was an increase in the effect of insolvencies for all major groups of industries, both when looking at VAT turnover and the number of employees in the previous year, with the exception of a nearly 90% decrease in the number of employees in wholesale and retail trade, or from 26 to 3.

The number of insolvencies and their effect on the number of employees was quite reduced for the period ranging from mid-year 2021 to the autumn of 2022. Looking further back, the number of previous employees for insolvencies registered during the third quarter of 2023 increased by 14% from 2021 (from 204) whereas it decreased by 53% from 2020 (from 499). Furthermore, there was a 50% decrease from the third quarter of 2019 (from 465). Therefore, the effect of insolvencies does not appear to be stronger than it was before the pandemic.

Insolvencies in September
There were 44 corporate insolvencies registered in September 2023. Thereof, 27 were for companies that were active in the previous year, i.e. they either had registered employees according to the official PAYE tax registry or turnover according to VAT reports. This is an 80% increase from September 2022. The number of employees in the previous year nearly tripled, went from 58 to 173.

Statistics Iceland publishes monthly updates on insolvencies of registered companies. The number of insolvencies for the latest month are temporary estimates and are subject to change with increased information on insolvency registrations from judicial authorities.


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