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Information services company Experian reveal significant improvement in insolvencies compared to March 2009

also experienced a minor deterioration from 81.18 in February to 80.99 in March, with the biggest fall coming from the smallest businesses (with 1 to 2 employees) – from 82.48 in February to 82.31 in March.

Scotland was the only region to see a fall in its insolvency rate from 0.09 per cent in February to 0.08 per cent in March – securing its place during March as the region with the lowest level of insolvencies.

Despite the February to March ‘blip’, the overall year-on-year picture is positive, revealing a significant improvement on March 2009, when the rate of insolvencies had peaked at 0.13 per cent. The year-on-year change in the average financial strength of businesses also reveals a significant improvement from the 79.72 recorded in March 2009.

Rolf Hickmann, Managing Director of pH, an Experian company, said: "Unlike the last recession, when business insolvencies were more than double the rates witnessed during this recession, the business economy has not been admitted to intensive care. In fact, insolvencies have been coming down since early 2009 and, despite the odd monthly fluctuations, are now far more stable.

It’s the same picture when you look at the financial strength score. Although this deteriorated slightly in March, along with payment performance, it has been steadily getting back to normal since the economic crisis was at its worst in mid 2008. Despite March’s figures, our data shows that micro businesses, the one and two man-bands, are the most resilient in the UK."

Other key highlights include:

The East Midlands region saw the biggest increase in its insolvency rate – from 0.10 per cent in February to 0.14 per cent in March.

Businesses in Greater London saw their financial strength score fall from 79.99 in February to 79.76 in March. Although this was a minor fall, it was the biggest in comparison to the average score in other regions.

Businesses with 26 to 50 employees saw the highest increase in their insolvency rate, in comparison to businesses of other sizes, from 0.23 per cent in February to 0.34 per cent in March.

The only improvement came from businesses with 101 to 500 employees – from 0.17 per cent in February to 0.16 per cent in March.

The lowest insolvency rate continues to be held by the smallest businesses with 1 to 2 employees – 0.07 per cent. However, these businesses types saw their financial strength score fall from 82.48 in February to 82.31 in March. Although it was a minor deterioration, it was still the biggest in comparison to other business types.

Both the health/household and pharmaceuticals sectors saw their insolvency rates fall the furthest – from 0.11 per cent in February to 0 per cent and from 0.22 per cent in February to 0.11 per cent, respectively.

The financial strength of businesses in the oil sector feel the furthest – from 86.31 in February to 86.04 in March.

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