BERLIN The number of German companies filing for insolvency fell last year to the lowest level on record thanks to a prolonged upswing in Europe's biggest economy although the amount of creditor claims rose nearly 60 percent, data showed on Tuesday.
Just 21,518 companies registered for insolvency in 2016, down 7 percent in the seventh consecutive annual drop in numbers and the fewest since insolvency rules changed in 1999, the Federal Statistics Office said in a statement.
However, total probable claims by creditors rose to some 27.4 billion euros (24.1 billion pounds) from about 17.3 billion as courts dealt with more cases from big companies, it said.
The number of consumer bankruptcies also fell, edging down 3.6 percent to 77,238, its sixth yearly decline.
The German economy grew by 1.9 percent in 2016, the highest rate for five years, driven by soaring private consumption, higher state spending and more investment in housing.
Record high employment, increased job security, solid wage increases and low borrowing costs are fuelling domestic demand which has replaced exports as the main driver of growth.
($1 = 0.9398 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Louise Ireland)