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The business insolvency rate for the UK maintained its low level of 0.08 per cent for the fourth month running - down from 0.09% in May 2012 - the latest Business Insolvency Index from Experian shows say Northampton accountants Harris & Co.

The insolvency rate fell in seven out of the 11 government regions in May 2013 – a major improvement on the same month in 2012, when only one region, Yorkshire, showed an improvement on the previous year.

Insolvencies in the North East fell from 0.14% in May 2012 to 0.11% in May 2013 and Scotland also continued its recent form as insolvency rates stayed at 0.03% for the sixth month in a row.

Smaller businesses, which represent the vast majority of UK companies, have again done well. The best performance compared to last May was among companies with 6-10 employees (down from 0.20% to 0.16%).

The insolvency rate among companies with fewer than 10 employees (representing 1.8 million businesses) has not risen for the last four months.

Of the UK’s top five biggest industries, hotel/leisure and building/construction were the most improved - with insolvency rates falling from 0.16% and 0.18% in May 2012 to 0.11% and 0.14% respectively in May 2013.

Max Firth, managing director, Experian Business Information Services in the UK and Ireland said: ‘What a difference a year makes – May’s insolvency figures has shown improvements across many areas of the UK. What’s particularly pleasing is that insolvencies among smaller businesses, which are the backbone of the UK economy, are showing a longer-term change for the better, whilst building and construction firms can also take heart at the drop off in insolvencies after a particularly difficult period.’

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