Business closures surpass openings for the first time in 13 years

4th December 2023

Latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that business closures have outpaced openings for the first time since 2010.

The ONS Inter-Departmental Business Register shows that there was a 7% year-on-year decline in new businesses in 2022, while business closures were up 5%, meaning it was the first time since 2010 that closures overtook openings.

The analysis shows that the number of business closures in the constructions climbed by 41% whilst opening had dropped 8%, while in the retail sector, closures were up by almost 30%, the highest in at least six years.

The sectors that saw the largest reductions were retail, construction, real estate and courier services. The number of new retailers dropped from 38,900 in 2021 to 29,420 in 2022 which is the lowest since the data became available in 2017.