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OTTAWA, Ont. — Industry Canada reports that while the number of bankruptcies in Canada is dropping, the size of firms going under is growing by rapidly.

The latest statistics released from the federal department show there were 2,374 failures filed in the third quarter of 2000. This marks a decline from the just six months ago of about 300 bankruptcies, however, it is still 6.7 per cent higher than the figures reported in the third quarter of 1999.

Industry Canada notes as well that the total liabilities of those firms throwing a lock on the door has increased from approximately $1 billion just three months earlier to almost $1.5 billion most recently. This sizable jump indicates to the number-crunchers that the companies involved are becoming much larger.

Over a longer period, however, things still have at least a slight rosy hue to them. Over the past two years bankruptcies have declined slightly and the total liabilities involved quarterly has decreased by almost $500 million.

Industry Canada is still forecasting solid economic growth of 3.3 per cent in Canada for 2001 and an even better 3.4 per cent in 2002.

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