Small firms felt the pinch as the UK insolvency rate for August rose in comparison with last year.
The stability of the IT space, which has long been one of the most hardy sectors, also endured a wobble last month, with the industry's overall financial strength suffering a sizable decline.
Figures from Experian reveal that 0.08 per cent of UK businesses hit the wall in August, up from 0.07 per cent during the same month last year. The overall financial strength score of UK plc has also dropped in the past 12 months, from 81.06 to 79.18.
But the UK's largest businesses showed some resilience last month, with the insolvency rate for big firms dropping from 0.14 per cent in 2010 to 0.09 per cent this year. The financial strength rating for large enterprises has also risen from 81.06 to 85.01 in the past year. For firms with 11 to 50 staff, however, the picture was decidedly bleaker, with 0.21 per cent of businesses foundering in August, the highest rate of any horizontal sector.
The number of companies that went bust in the IT industry last month rose 9.1 per cent year on year to 48. The insolvency rate for the sector stood at 0.05 per cent in August, up from 0.04 per cent in 2010. The financial strength score of the industry has slipped more than two points in the past year and now stands at 81.45.
The South West was the UK's top-performing region in August, with just 0.06 per cent of firms going under. Greater London, the East Midlands and the East of England all posted figures of 0.07 per cent.
However, the capital has by far the country's poorest financial strength rating: 77.07. The South West again led the way with a score of 81.37.
The North East and the West Midlands were the regional laggards last month, each suffering an insolvency rate of 0.11 per cent.
Max Firth, managing director of Experian Business Information Services, said: "While insolvency rates in August were the lowest since February 2011, our analysis shows that regional variances continue to underline the importance of closely monitoring the financial health of the suppliers and customers with which companies do business."
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