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TORONTO (Reuters) - The number of personal bankruptcies in Canada soared by more than 20 percent in October as individuals came under increased pressure from deteriorating economic conditions, according to a report released on Thursday.
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada said a total of 9,468 bankruptcies were filed in October by consumers and businesses. That represents a 7.2 percent increase from September and a hefty 21.1 percent jump from the same month in 2007.
According to the report, the majority of filings came from individual Canadians, who saw world stock markets plummet during October as the global financial crisis gathered momentum.
The report showed that 8,972 consumers filed for personal bankruptcy in October. That was up 7.5 percent from September and 22.8 percent higher than the same month in 2007.
Bankruptcies filed by businesses totaled 496, just 1.4 percent higher than September's number and actually down 3.3 percent from October 2007.
Among businesses, the construction sector led the way with 97 filings, which was 32.9 percent above October 2007. The retail trade sector was next with 68 filings, which was 5.6 percent below last year.
Compared with October 2007, the total bankruptcies filed in October rose 50.9 percent in Alberta, 37.4 percent in British Columbia and 36.5 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Bankruptcies in the manufacturing heartlands of Ontario and Quebec rose 21.6 percent and 13.6 percent respectively.
Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson