Business failures stabilise

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The first five months of the year have offered some stability, according to the latest Business Failures figures from Equifax.

Q1 saw the number of companies failing drop by 5.9% year-on-year. However, they crept up by 1.5% year-on-year during May and April, serving as a reminder of the difficult trading conditions overall.

The regional picture saw London perform best in Q1, with failures down 12.7% year on year, although this wasn’t sustained through April/May, as failed businesses in the region rose by 5.2%.

In contrast, the south west is enjoying the best start to Q2, with failures down 11.4%.

Looking at performance across different sectors, manufacturing and services performed best in Q1, with failures down 14.8% and 10.9%, respectively. Manufacturing sustained this positive fall in failures, down 20.6% for April/May, providing a significant boost. The Construction sector continued to struggle with failures up slightly by 1.4% in Q1. And this increased further in April/May, up 9.4% year-on-year.

In contrast, the retail sector seems to be bucking the trend of the economic downturn. Although there was a small increase in failures, up 1.6% in Q1, for April/May there was quite a marked turnaround with a year-on-year drop of 12.5%.