According to the latest government statistics, company insolvencies are at their highest level since 2014. Even more alarming is the fact that personal insolvencies are also at their highest level since 2011.
While the rise in personal insolvencies is driven by increases in individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), company insolvencies have risen most notably in the construction sector and in the wholesale and retail trade sector.
The collapse of Carillion may still be feeding into the construction sector as a whole and in retail the problems faced by high street retailers show little sign of lessening. Business rate increases and online competition is decimating high streets up and down the country and impacting on major chains.
With the peak shopping seasons now gone and rents up for renewal, it is likely that another wave of insolvencies in the retail sector will continue to help push up insolvency rates overall.
The problem of rising insolvencies is further complicated by what may happen after Brexit. With less job security in some of the countries major employment industries such as car manufacturing, construction and retail it is hard to see any uptick in consumer spending in 2019 unless there is some good news on the horizon.