'Critical distress' levels on the rise among NI firms
THERE was some bad news for Northern Ireland in a new report detailing the degree of financial distress among UK businesses during the second quarter.
The report, by London firm Begbies Traynor, shows that the region is the only one in the UK to have recorded a rise in the number of firms in "critical financial distress" to 50 in the three months to the end of June compared to 48 in the first quarter.
The biggest fall was in the north-east of England, where the number of firms classed as such declined 21pc quarter on quarter.
Compared to the second quarter of 2012, Scotland fares best, with 71pc fewer firms in critical distress in the second quarter of 2013 than a year earlier.
But while in Northern Ireland the number has risen this year, it's also down – by 58pc – in the second quarter compared to the second three months of 2012.
"With critical distress levels falling at a record pace, this quarter's improvement appears to be the first real sign that the UK economy has turned a corner towards a sustained recovery," said Begbies Traynor partner Julie Palmer. "However, we have real fears that many SMEs will have serious financial difficulties at the time they least expect – during a recovery."