• Kyodo


The number of corporate bankruptcies fell last month to the lowest level for a July in 26 years and down 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 712, according to a credit research agency.

The figure marked the fifth straight monthly drop, Tokyo Shoko Research said Monday.

A major reason behind the sharp decline in July was that the number of failures in the construction sector decreased on the back of reconstruction projects following the March 2011 quake-tsunami disasters and public construction projects, Tokyo Shoko Research said.

The agency voiced concern over the future outlook, however, saying small and medium-size companies have been facing labor shortages, which could increase payroll costs and possibly trigger bankruptcies among smaller firms.

The agency tallies bankruptcies involving liabilities of at least ¥10 million.

Liabilities left by bankrupt companies in July rose 3.3 percent from the previous year to ¥124.02 billion, up for the first time in five months.

Five out of 10 industrial sectors, including the construction, manufacturing and information and communication industries, saw fewer bankruptcies than a year earlier.

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