Business information provider, Equifax, has released its Business Failures Report for the final quarter of 2009 as well as an overall report for the year.
While the figures for 2009 as a whole, compared to 2008, show an 18% increase in the number of businesses that went bust, the Q4 figures indicate some clear signs that the UK economy may be turning the corner. The south west was one of the strongest performers in the last quarter of the year with failures down 21.3%.
“From the middle of 2009 onwards we could see that the rate of failures in businesses was slowing down, compared to the end of 2008 and the early part of 2009,” confirmed Neil Munroe, external affairs director, Equifax.
“And the figures for the last quarter show a continuation of this trend with a 7.7% year on year decrease across the whole of the UK and a substantial 21.3% decrease in the south west, making it one of the most successful regions in Q4. This widespread decrease has to be good news for the economy as a whole.”
The end of 2009 showed some promise across every region in the country apart from the west midlands. Failures there in Quarter 4 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, went up 3%. Meanwhile, alongside the south west, businesses in the east midlands also survived better in Q4 with a 20.2% year on year drop. The London business sector also appeared to fare better with a 13.4% drop year on year.
Every business sector – apart from wholesale – also saw a downturn in businesses going bust in Q4 2009 compared to 2008. Perhaps not surprisingly, the retail sector showed the biggest reduction in failures at 20.9%, followed by transport & communications at 17.5%.