Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector has the lowest rate of firms at a higher than normal risk of insolvency of anywhere in the UK, according to the latest research by R3.

In August less than one in five (19 per cent) of the North’s manufacturing businesses were considered at higher than normal risk of becoming insolvent in the next year, lower than the UK average of 22.9 per cent. The figures also reveal that the transport and haulage (16.5 per cent), retail 20.5 per cent), and construction (23.9 per cent) industries saw the lowest rate of risk of insolvency across all UK regions. Northern Irish firms had the second lowest overall risk profile, with almost a quarter (24.4 per cent) of all companies deemed at higher than normal risk, compared to 28.2 per cent in the UK as a whole.

The local figure is however 2.7 percentage points higher than it was in January, and reflects a general trend towards a higher rate of insolvency risk across all parts of the UK since the start of the year.

Stephen Cave, Chair of R3 in Northern Ireland said “Despite continuing political uncertainty in Northern Ireland, the latest figures are an encouraging sign that the economy has remained resilient, with manufacturing risk levels only slightly higher than earlier this year. The increase in the proportion of Northern Irish companies at higher than average risk of insolvency since the start of the year does however act as a reminder that no businesses can afford to be complacent.”