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More firms failing in Wales than this time last year.

THE number of business failures in Wales in April of this year was up slightly on 2012, according to latest research from global information services company Experian.

Its latest Business Insolvency Index shows that there were 56 business failures in April in Wales, compared to 42 a year earlier.

Failures in Wales in April represented 0.09% of the total business population, up from 0.08% a year earlier.

From the UK as whole there were 1,714 business failures, up from 1,564 in 2012, although as a percentage of the total business population it was unchanged at 0.08%.

For the UK the business insolvency rate has stayed at the relatively low level of 0.08% for the last four surveys - the first time since 2007 - suggesting a more stable trading environment and increased resilience to business failure.

Businesses at both ends of the size scale experienced low insolvency rates in April. Companies with 1-2 employees remained low at 0.06% - the same rate seen in March this year and April of 2012.

In addition, the UK's largest companies (those with 501 plus employees) saw a below average rate of insolvencies at 0.06% falling from 0.12% last month and from the 0.08% recorded in April 2012.

There were also modest improvements from firms in the middle of the market in April, as companies with 26-50 employees saw their insolvency rate fall from 0.16% in April 2012 to 0.14% in April this year.

Max Firth, managing director of Experian Business Information Services for the UK and Ireland, said: "We've seen that the insolvency rate has been decreasing for some time, but the fact that it is staying low is encouraging news.

"It's particularly pleasing to see that companies at both ends of the supply chain are improving all the time. Small companies make up the lifeblood of the British economy, so it is good to see that they have relatively low insolvency rates.

"And at the larger end of the scale, the big firms have a significant effect on the whole supply chain, so to see fewer failures is promising and will no doubt boost confidence in both customers and suppliers."

Businesses in Scotland have the lowest rate of insolvency - now standing at an all-time low rate of 0.03% for five months running.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 5, 2013
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