UH OH: Small Business Bankruptcies Surpass COVID-Era Highs

Joe Biden’s economy is a disaster.

There is a surge in bankruptcies across the United States – it is even higher than the surge after the COVID crash in 2020.

As of February 2023, there were over 31,000 bankruptcy filings – this is 18% higher than the number of bankruptcy filings in 2022.

The four-week moving average in 2023 was 7.8 in late February while it was 4.5 in June 2020.

Real Estate, health care, chemicals, and retail outlets are the industries hardest hit.

The Epoch Times reported:

Small businesses across the United States are experiencing a surge in bankruptcies, surpassing levels not seen since 2020, and, according to a UBS note reviewed by The Epoch Times, conditions could become worse as the ripple effects from the recent banking crises begin to manifest.

The note from the UBS Evidence Lab shows private bankruptcy filings in 2023 have exceeded the highest point recorded during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by a considerable amount. The four-week moving average for private filings in late February was 73 percent higher than in June 2020.

“[We] believe one of the more underappreciated signs of distress in U.S. corporate credit is already emanating from the small- and mid-size enterprises sector,” Matthew Mish, head of credit strategy at UBS, wrote in a recently published research note. “[The] smallest of firms [are] facing the most severe pressure from rising rates, persistent inflation and slowing growth.”

The industries hit hardest by the wave of bankruptcies include real estate, health care, chemicals, and retail outlets, according to the Swiss bank’s report.

Bankruptcies were already on the rise before the collapse of SVB.

Market Insider reported:

The weekly data collected by UBS flicks to worrisome trends about smaller business going belly-up even before the month’s banking industry shakeup stemming from the failures of SVB and crypto-friendly Signature Bank.

The FDIC is facing more than $20 billion in costs after coming to the rescue of depositors at those banks, stoking concerns that other small banks will come under liquidity stress and pull back on lending to businesses and retail clients.

Smaller and regional banks are “critical” to small and medium-sized businesses as they hold 40% of loans and debt at those companies, said UBS. Companies with fewer than 500 staff members make up 58% of the privately employed workforce in the US, Pantheon Macroeconomics recently wrote, underscoring the key role those businesses hold in the world’s largest economy.

Fiscal stimulus and the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program did suppress bankruptcy filings in 2020, but “the YTD spike is nevertheless stark – outright and relative to public filings – and a clear indication that a fulcrum of credit stress this cycle is in smaller corporates,” Mish said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is more focused on giving billions to Ukraine than helping out American small businesses.

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Thanks for sharing!