Sluggish growth is delaying economic recovery in Emerging Europe and Central Asia.

The World Bank has published its latest Regional Economic Update for Europe and Central Asia region and warns that economic activity in the emerging and developing economies of the Europe and Central Asia region is likely to slow to 2.8% this year following substantial strengthening to 3.3% in 2023. However, a slower-than-expected recovery in key […]

The global recovery is steady but slow and differs by region.

The latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecasts that the world economy will continue growing at 3.2% during 2024 and 2025. This is an upward revision of 0.1% from the January 2024 WEO Update and 0.3% from the October 2023 WEO, although the pace of expansion remains low by historical standards. A slight acceleration for advanced […]

The UK economy “is trapped” in a low-to-no growth state.

The BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey indicates that most UK firms reported no improvement in investment levels, sales, or cashflow in the first quarter of 2024, with business confidence levels remaining mostly unchanged. The percentage of respondents reporting increased domestic sales also remained steady at 36% – the same level as in Q4. However, notable sectoral […]

The UK’s growth will be the second poorest of advanced economies in 2024.

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) predicts that growth in the UK will rise from an estimated 0.1% in 2023 to 0.5% in 2024 as the lagged negative effects of high energy prices wane, then to 1.5% in 2025, as disinflation allows financial conditions to ease and real incomes to recover. This indicates a […]

Corporate insolvency in Scotland is at its highest level since the 2011-12 financial year.

The latest Scottish Insolvency Statistics for 2023-24 indicate that there were 1,168 corporate insolvencies in the year – an increase of 3% from 2022-2023’s figure of 1,132, 37% higher than 2021-2022’s figure (854), and 23% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019-2020 (948). Richard Bathgate, Chair of R3 in Scotland and Restructuring Partner at Johnston Carmichael, […]

Nearly one in five UK-listed companies issued a profit warning in the last 12 months.

A new EY-Parthenon Profit Warnings report reveals that the percentage of UK-listed companies issuing profit warnings over the last twelve months increased to 18.7%, which is 1% higher than in 2008 at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis. Additionally, by the end of the first quarter of 2024, thirty-nine companies had issued three or […]

Begbies Traynor’s ‘Red Flag Alert’ research highlights the rapid acceleration of financial distress over the past 12 months.

Currently 554,554 UK businesses are in ‘significant’ financial distress, marking a 30.8% rise compared to Q1 2023. This deterioration affects all twenty-two sectors covered by the research. Furthermore, levels of more severe ‘critical’ financial distress have surged by 20.1% compared to Q1 2023, impacting a total of 40,174 UK businesses. The situation is particularly concerning […]

Company Watch has launched a new service, Payment Practises Data, to provide businesses with insights into the payment behaviours of the companies they work with.

The platform gathers data daily from around 9,155 of the UK’s largest companies reporting their payment practices (with this number set to grow), which is presented in “easily digestible” graphs showing the average days to pay and payment, as well as the payment percentage for all published years. Businesses can also view more information from […]

The UK retail sector presents considerable challenges, yet glimpses of recovery are emerging.

Tokio Marine HCC’s latest Trade Credit UK Retail Sector Report, featuring insights from Fiona O’Brien, Senior Credit Underwriter – Trade Credit, underscores the profound shifts the sector has undergone in the past decade. The report paints a picture of the industry’s current landscape, with insolvency rates surpassing pre-Covid levels and showing an upward trend. As […]

Macroeconomic pressures drove CEE insolvency rates to new heights in 2023.

Coface has published a new report analysing company insolvencies in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. Coface notes that, in the wake of an economic downturn that saw Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania recorded negative growth rates in 2023, CEE countries witnessed a dramatic 38.6% increase in insolvency proceedings from 2022 to 2023. […]

Atradius reveals significant increases in payment defaults for many cornerstone industries.

Although Atradius’ report on payment default trends for Q1 2024 reveals a decrease of 18% in the number of claims received from UK businesses compared to the same period in 2023, the report also highlights significant increases in payment defaults within several cornerstone industries. For instance, the energy and fuel sector experienced a 75% increase […]

Accessing finance is becoming more difficult for UK SMEs.

According to new data from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Insights Unit, accessing finance is becoming more difficult for a large number of UK SMEs. 49% of businesses surveyed who accessed finance felt that getting funding had become more challenging over the past three years. Only 13% said it was getting easier. The BCC’s […]

UK retailers report six months of negative sales.

According to new data from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, total UK in-store and online sales fell by 2.2% in March, marking the sixth consecutive month of negative sales results – the longest consecutive period of negative growth outside of the COVID-19 pandemic. BDO’s data, which looks at sales across discretionary spend categories, highlighted that in-store sales […]

UK manufacturing faces anaemic growth for the next two years.

UK manufacturers are facing the prospect of two years of anaemic growth, with the latest forecasts suggesting the sector will remain flat this year (0.1% growth) and grow by just half the rate of the economy overall in 2025. However, although the Q1 Manufacturing Outlook survey published by Make UK and BDO suggests that the […]

UK company insolvencies in March 2024 were 17% higher than the same month in 2023.

New data from Creditsafe has found that 2,598 companies in the UK became insolvent in March 2024 – a slight decrease compared to February and an increase of 17% compared to the same month in 2023. 17% of insolvencies in March came from within the UK construction sector. Creditsafe suggests that two sectors with traditionally […]

Cashflow remains a major challenge for UK SMEs.

Data from Bibby Financial Services’ (BFS) Q1 2024 SME Confidence Tracker reveals that ongoing interest rate levels and political uncertainty are holding back many businesses from investing in the long-term business growth the economy needs. UK corporate insolvency rates hit a 30-year high in 2023 as 25,158 businesses “fell foul of high costs and tough […]

On average, 51% of UK firms are paid after the invoice due date.

According to research by Taulia, although late payments gradually declined between 2016 and 2019, that trend has now reversed. According to Taulia’s Supplier Survey, this year over half (51%) of the suppliers polled reported that, on average, they receive payments late from their buyers – up from 50% last year and 36% in 2021. Over […]

Around 31,000 UK businesses are expected to fail in 2024.

According to Allianz Trade’s latest Global Insolvency Outlook, ahead of an expected recovery in 2025, UK businesses must first navigate a year of geopolitical and economic uncertainty and a heightened risk of non-payment as insolvency rates peak at a 15-year record. Around 31,000 UK businesses are expected to fail in 2024, a 10% increase from […]

The UK is turning a corner, but company insolvencies are still rising.

Coface has published an article in which Andrew Share, Director of Business Information at Coface, explains why businesses can’t afford to let their guard down. Andrew notes that there has been a welcome outbreak of positive economic news this month; according to the latest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK economy will […]

Main contractor trade credit insurance hits crisis point.

Construction Enquirer has reported that “jittery insurers are pulling trade credit insurance cover on some of the country’s leading contractors.” Construction Enquirer comments that it has been contacted by several subcontractors and suppliers in recent weeks who warn that they are unable to obtain cover on some of the industry’s biggest names. The nervous state of the market […]

UK businesses face ongoing economic pressure.

Allianz Trade’s latest Risk Barometer forecasts 2024 GDP growth of +0.6% in the UK (compared with +1.4% in the US and +0.8% in the Eurozone) and predicts that UK business insolvencies will grow +5% in 2024 and will be 35% higher this year than in 2019. Although compared with pre-pandemic times, Allianz Trade feels that […]

AU Group warns that business failures are making a “serious comeback”.

AU Group’s latest G-Grade for Q1 2024 warns that, after two years of strong post-COVID growth (2021 and 2022) and a global economy boosted by various governments’ support, 2023 was the year of a return to reality. “The debts incurred during the crisis have to be repaid, and there has been a catchup of insolvencies.” […]