The number of business failures in Westmeath increased dramatically during the first nine months of this year, according to new figures released by financial advisory firm FGS.
The figures show that in Westmeath, from January to September 2009, there were 19 companies placed in liquidation, receivership, or examinership, compared to just seven during the same period last year. This represents a significant increase of over 270 per cent over the year.
Corresponding figures for 2006 and 2007 show an even more dramatic contrast,with three and four corporate failures respectively in those years.
Nationally, there were 1,135 creditors’ voluntary liquidations, High Court liquidations, receiverships, and examinerships in the nine months ending September 30 2009, representing a staggering 138 per cent rise on the same period in 2008 when 477 businesses failed.
Elsewhere in the Midlands, corporate failures in Offaly jumped from nine to 19, and in Longford and Laois from just one each in 2008 to 12 and 19 respectively in 2009.
The figures also reveal that the construction industry was the worst hit, with 399 businesses failing in the first nine months of this year, followed by the hospitality services, furnishings, professional and consultancy services, and motor industries.
According to Declan Taite of FGS, the figures are not overly surprising when set against a backdrop of continued recessionary pressures.
“The ongoing lack of liquidity, cashflow constraints, increasing unemployment, negative consumer sentiment etc. have all contributed to the increase,” he said.
“The ongoing demise in the construction sector is obvious from the statistics. 399 or 35 per cent of all failures occurred in this sector. This compares with 28 per cent in 2007 and 40 per cent in 2008. To put these figures into context, there were more failures recorded within the sector in the first nine months of 2009 than were recorded in the same periods in 2006, 2007, and 2008 collectively.”