In our 42nd Insolvency by the Numbers, we look at our data set for May 2024. We review how the month has tracked compared to prior months and years.

In the last month the Reserve Bank has continued with no change to the OCR and indicated not to expect any reductions until 2025.

We are now beginning to see a further tightening being covered in certain sectors particularly construction where new work has become scarce and those that are not busy finishing off existing projects are beginning to look to the renovation space.

 The government has released their latest budget showing cuts to a number of ministry’s and projects that are not deemed essential, there has also been some tax relief in the moving of the personal income tax brackets. How these budget changes will affect our stubborn non-tradable inflation is yet to be seen.

 Company Insolvencies – Liquidations, Receiverships, and Voluntary Administrations

 

 May 2024 appears to have fallen back into the traditional corporate insolvency patterns we have seen in prior years just at slightly elevated levels over past years. On this basis we would normally see a drop in June but the appointment levels remain consistently higher than the last 6+ years.

Overall total insolvencies for the year remain high, almost double the appointments seen as recently as 2022. Month on month May had 238 total appointments 83 above the long term average of 150 and well above past Mays (2023: 158, 2022: 138, 2021: 151, 2020: 158). We expect that these higher insolvency appointment levels will continue into 2025 given the back log of debts currently sitting with the IRD and other creditors.

 

For May shareholder appointments increased and there was a decrease in court appointments as a comparative percentage. There was also a spike in Voluntary Administrations and Receiverships due to group appointments. As mentioned in prior months we have also seen a rise in personal receiverships by 3rd and 4th tier lenders in attempts to recover their debts (not recorded in the above corporate appointment figures)

We expect increases across all types of appointments to continue throughout 2024 and into 2025.

 

 Winding Up Applications

 

 We have now seen 3 months in a row of consistent applications just under the 100 marks being made driven largely by IRD and their recovery efforts. While the winding up applications are normally driven by those made in the Auckland High Court making up 2/3rds of the total applications, May saw other courts around the country take up a larger share for the month making up around 50% of the applications, a sign that the regions outside of Auckland are also beginning to get their share of insolvency pressures.

 

 Personal Insolvencies – Bankruptcy, No Asset Procedure and Debt Repayment Orders.

 

 We can see a slight increase in April personal insolvency figures driven largely by bankruptcy applications but not a huge change over all. As outlined in the past I would expect that numbers will continue to increase slowly as job losses, increasing interest rates and cost of living continues to pressure people over 2024 and 2025.

 Where to from here?

Much like last month the signs continue to point to the NZ economy being in for continued pain for the foreseeable future with it likely to get worse before it gets better, we foresee continued rising appointments when compared to prior years. The OCR is unlikely to be dropped in the next 6 months potentially 1 year and inflation continues to be above the target of 2% and may be for some years with non-tradable inflation refusing to come under control.

 If you want to have a chat about any points raised or an issue you may have you can call on 0800 30 30 34 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In our 41st Insolvency by the Numbers, we look at our data set for April 2024. We review how the month has tracked compared to prior months and years.

In the last month we have seen the latest release of unemployment data showing a rise to 4.3% for the March 2024 quarter, with expectation that it may continue to increase. We have seen a decrease in inflation driven largely by tradeable inflation, meanwhile the non-tradeable inflation continues to remain high, showing we still have some work to do to get over inflation in NZ.

The Reserve Bank has continued with no change to the OCR during the month with the next announcement due in May 2024 hoping to shed some light on when there will be a reduction, economists have revised their estimates to late 2024 or early 2025.

Anecdotally the uptake seen in media enquiries into new appointments has continued, leading to with steady coverage in local and regional news media of the variety of appointments being taken by insolvency practitioners with special emphasis on the number and quantum of creditors left out of pocket.

Company Insolvencies – Liquidations, Receiverships, and Voluntary Administrations