Bulgaria’s business registrations fell by 38.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020 – the fourth-sharpest drop among EU member states for which data is available, after Portugal, Spain and Italy, the EU’s statistical office Eurostat said.

The number of bankruptcy declarations in Bulgaria also declined in the second quarter on an annual comparison basis – by 33.6%, after falling by 5.4% in the first quarter, Eurostat said in a statement earlier this week.

Bulgaria posted an annual drop in business registrations of 21.6% in the previous quarter.

The number of registrations of new businesses fell 29.3% on the year in the EU in the second quarter, and by 20.5% compared to the first quarter. Bankruptcies decreased by an annual 34.8% and fell 26.5% quarter-on-quarter, Eurostat said.

According to Eurostat, the sharp decrease in bankruptcies in the EU during the second quarter may be explained by the fact that the respective administrations responsible for the registrations of bankruptcies were temporarily not accessible or closed during the coronavirus pandemic and therefore these bankruptcies could be reported with delay.

“Finally, government measures supporting businesses during the crisis may have allowed businesses that would otherwise have filed for bankruptcy to continue their activities,” Eurostat noted.