Firms in the south of England significantly outperformed northern counterparts as the UK business insolvency rate continued to shrink in November.
The latest Insolvency Index from Experian finds that 0.07 per cent of UK companies hit the wall last month, down from 0.09 per cent in the same period last year. The south east, south west, east of England and Greater London all led the way with a business failure rate of 0.06 per cent.
The picture was different in the north of the country, with 0.1 per cent of firms in Yorkshire and the north east, and 0.09 per cent of north-western firms going bust in November. Further north, Scotland was the only region to post an annual increase in insolvencies, with the failure rate rising from 0.04 to 0.07 per cent.
Across the UK, the average financial strength score of UK plc stood at 81.26, a year-on-year increase of almost one point. The south east and south west were top performers, with average scores of 82.96 and 82.47, respectively.
The IT sector performed well in November, with the failure rate falling from 0.06 to 0.04 per cent year on year. The financial strength of firms in the industry was also well ahead of the UK average, and increased from 83.51 to 83.75 on an annual basis.
Max Firth, managing principal of pH, an Experian company, said: "So far this year the insolvency rate has enjoyed a period of relative stability. For the last five months it has drifted between the 0.07 per cent and 0.08 per cent mark, which is a more positive picture than last year.
"Despite the fall in business failures, there continues to be a north/south divide in the overall level of insolvencies. Regardless of location, all organisations should ensure they understand the financial health of those they do business with."
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