North West business growth sees midwinter plunge

The number of active businesses in the North West has fallen by almost 5,000 in December compared to last month, according to research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 9:05 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 10:08 am
Paul Barber

The sharp drop – which is only the third fall in the past two years – is a further indication that the unprecedented growth in business numbers witnessed in recent years may be starting to level out.

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The figures show that there are now over 369,000 active businesses in the North West, over 7,700 more than in December 2017. However, the rate of growth was around half that of the previous 12-month period, when over 14,000 additional businesses were created.

Paul Barber, North West Chair of R3 and a partner at Begbies Traynor, says: “In recent years we have seen the emergence of the start-up culture, with more and more people setting up their own business – more than one, in some cases.

“It is likely though that such rapid growth in business numbers was unsustainable and therefore not altogether surprising that it has slowed down. However it is harder to explain the sharp fall in December.”