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A substantial fall in compulsory company liquidations in the fourth quarter of 2013 could be an indication of how insolvency advice and improving economic conditions are helping companies not only to survive, but to thrive.

Official statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show just 692 compulsory company liquidations in the quarter, a 26.7% decrease from the previous three months, and down 25.8% from the same period of 2012.

However, creditors’ voluntary liquidations did not improve by as much, dropping just 1.1% sequentially and 1.0% year-on-year, to 2,860 in Q4 2013.

Overall, 3,552 company liquidations were recorded in England and Wales, representing a sequential decrease of 7.4% and an annual drop of 7.1%.

Elsewhere in corporate insolvency, the improvement was even less, with 1,001 individual cases recorded (incorporating receiverships, administrations and company voluntary arrangements).

The total drop here was just 0.6%, compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.

However, with the trend across the board being towards fewer insolvencies, it’s a positive indication moving into 2014, and may be evidence that economic recovery and insolvency advice are rescuing many more troubled companies from the brink.