JAPAN BANKRUPTCY DEBT ROSE IN OCTOBER FROM SEPTEMBER

JAPAN BANKRUPTCY DEBT ROSE IN OCTOBER FROM SEPTEMBER

Debt from bankrupt Japanese companies climbed in October, as the recession kept markets sluggish and consumers away, a debt research company said Monday.

''The slump in consumer spending has been greatly prolonged," Tokyo Commerce and Industry Research Co. said.Debt from business failures rose in October by 12.2 percent from September, to 485.79 billion yen (US$4.59 billion), while their number climbed 4.2 percent, to 1,318.

Business bankruptcies topped the 1,300 level three times within the past year - the first time that has happened in several years.

Tokyo Commerce expects the number of bankruptcies to climb as the year end approaches and more companies are pressed to settle accounts.

Compared with a year earlier, business debt actually dropped a sharp 38.9 percent in October, with 17 fewer large companies becoming insolvent, the research firm noted.

Only 63 large companies had debts exceeding 1 billion yen ($9 million) in October, although the number of businesses going broke rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier.