Following declines last year, the number of businesses filing for bankruptcy rose to 6,705 in the second quarter, a seven percent increase from the start of the year, according to Euler Hermes ACI, an Owing Mills, Md.-based credit-insurance firm.

Business bankruptcies in the first two quarters combined are now up by 45 percent over last year, when changes to federal bankruptcy laws prompted a 50 percent decline in corporate insolvencies, the firm said.

Euler Hermes is forecasting 30,000 business bankruptcies by the end of the year.

"Businesses today are facing serious headwinds, including a slowing economy and an increase in the cost of doing business," Daniel North, the firm's chief economist, said in a statement. North cited rising energy costs, tighter monetary policy, and declines in the housing market as the most serious issues businesses face.

Published on: Aug 22, 2007