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Swedish hotel and restaurant bankruptcies set to triple in April: credit agency UC

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden is witnessing a jump in bankruptcies this month with the rate among hotels and restaurants set to triple to 3.6 from 1.2 per day a year ago, and 3.1 retailers per day going under versus 1.8 per day a year earlier, credit information firm UC said on Thursday.

The rate of bankruptcies in the hotel and restaurant segmentwill probably accelerate further, UC said.

UC on April 1 said bankruptcies in the restaurant and hotel sector shot up 123% in March, with the transport sector also seeing a big jump, up 105%.

It said on Thursday that in the retail sector in April it was primarily durable goods retailers that were struggling with many apparel stores reporting sales drops of 50% or more. UC’s forecasts were based on data for the first half of the month.

The durable goods sector is suffering an acute liquidity crisis, employer organisation the Swedish Trade Federation said in a separate statement.

A quarter of the durable goods retailers it polled between April 5 and April 7 said turnover had slowed at least 60% in the past week versus a year earlier.

“Three out of 10 (durable goods) companies state that they will only manage for a maximum of two months if the current situation continues,” the organisation said.

Sweden is widely seen as having taken a softer approach in trying to slow the COVID-19 epidemic than many other counties. Stores are allowed to stay open, as are restaurants albeit with restrictions.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Jason Neely)