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Insolvency numbers remained sharply lower in August compared with the previous year, and even ticked down from July, according to the latest data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB).

The agency reported that the total number of bankruptcies and consumer debt proposals was down by 2.4% in August from July, and down 42.4% from August 2019.

Consumer insolvencies were down by 42.7% compared with last August, and business insolvencies were down by 25.5%.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, insolvency numbers have dropped significantly, as government supports and lender forbearance programs provided breathing room to financially pressured households and businesses.

For the 12 months ending Aug. 31, the total number of insolvencies was down by 14.9% this year, compared with the same period a year ago.

Consumer bankruptcies decreased by 25.0%, and consumer proposals decreased by 7.6%, the OSB reported.

At the same time, business insolvencies were down by 18.9% from last year.

“The two sectors that registered the biggest decrease in the number of insolvencies were construction, and accommodation and food services,” it said. “Retail trade as well as arts, entertainment and recreation experienced the biggest increase in insolvencies.”