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The number of corporate bankruptcies nationwide fell 12.6 percent in February from a year earlier to 1,056, down for the 26th straight month, a corporate credit research agency said Monday.

Combined debts left by the failed companies shrank 25.8 percent from a year earlier to 808.29 billion yen, Teikoku Databank Ltd. said. The figure was the ninth-highest on record for a February, it said.

The monthly report covers failures with debts of 10 million yen or more.

The 26 months of consecutive year-on-year falls in the number of corporate bankruptcies marks the second-longest period of continuous decline on record. The longest period was the 69 months between January 1985 and September 1990 during the asset-inflated bubble economy, the company said.

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