Quarterly statistics commentary

Break in series – personal insolvency statistics

From the September quarter 2017, geographic coding of personal insolvency statistics follows a new method. There is also a minor change in the reporting date used for personal insolvency agreements from that quarter. These changes are breaks in series for our statistical publications. For further details see the Guide to personal insolvency statistics.

Quarterly personal insolvency activity in Australia*

* From the September quarter 2017, geographic coding of personal insolvency statistics follows a new method.

Key points

  • Nationally, there were 8,177 personal insolvencies in the June quarter 2018.
  • Total personal insolvencies in the June quarter 2018 increased by 7.4% compared to the June quarter 2017. By type of personal insolvency:
    • bankruptcies increased by 13.1%
    • debt agreements increased by 1.5%
    • personal insolvency agreements decreased by 5.2%.
  • Total personal insolvencies rose in all states and territories except Victoria, where they fell by 1.0%. They reached record highs in Northern Territory (95 personal insolvencies) and Western Australia (1,046 personal insolvencies).

Total personal insolvency activity

Total personal insolvencies increased by 7.4% from 7,616 in the June quarter 2017 to 8,177 in the June quarter 2018. This was the fourth consecutive year-on-year increase.

Total personal insolvencies rose in all states and territories except Victoria, where they fell by 1.0%. They reached record highs in Northern Territory (95 personal insolvencies) and Western Australia (1,046 personal insolvencies).

At the national level, quarterly personal insolvencies remain below the historical peaks reached in 2008–09 and 2009–10 (of more than 9,000 personal insolvencies). We also publish annual personal insolvency statistics.

Total personal insolvency activity in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year

Bankruptcies

The number of bankruptcies increased by 13.1% in year-on-year terms, from 3,888 in the June quarter 2017 to 4,398 in the June quarter 2018. This follows a 1.8% year-on-year fall in the March quarter 2018. The year-on-year rise in the June quarter 2018 is the largest rise since the March quarter 2009. However, the level is lower than the March quarter 2009, when there were 7,164 bankruptcies.

Bankruptcies increased in year-on-year terms in:

  • Northern Territory (53.1%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (23.1%)
  • Western Australia (19.6%)
  • Queensland (16.3%)
  • New South Wales (16.1%)
  • Tasmania (9.3%)
  • South Australia (5.3%).

These rises were partly offset by a fall of 2.5% in Victoria.

Bankruptcies in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year

Debt agreements

The total number of debt agreements increased by 1.5% in year-on-year terms, from 3,670 in the June quarter 2017 to 3,724 in the June quarter 2018. Total debt agreements have risen year-on-year in every quarter since the September quarter 2015.

Debt agreements increased in year-on-year terms in:

  • Western Australia (13.3%)
  • Australian Capital Territory (12.2%)
  • Tasmania (8.4%)
  • New South Wales (2.6%)
  • Victoria (0.8%).

These increases were partly offset by falls in:

  • South Australia (5.1%)
  • Queensland (3.8%)
  • Northern Territory (2.1%).

Debt agreements in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year

Personal insolvency agreements

Quarterly personal insolvency agreement levels fluctuate proportionally more than those of bankruptcies and debt agreements as they are relatively small.

The number of personal insolvency agreements decreased by 5.2% in year-on-year terms, from 58 in the June quarter 2017 to 55 in the June quarter 2018. Personal insolvency agreements rose from 37 in the March quarter 2018, which was the lowest quarterly level on record.

Personal insolvency agreements fell in all states and territories except New South Wales and South Australia.

Personal insolvency agreements in Australia: % change compared to same quarter in previous year*

*We implemented a minor change to the reporting dates used for personal insolvency agreements in the September quarter 2017. This is the smallest type of personal insolvencies.