Suffolk/Essex: Personal bankruptcy falls to pre-recession levels amid ‘economic recovery’
PUBLISHED: 17:26 10 July 2014 | UPDATED: 22:30 10 July 2014
The number of people filing for bankruptcy in Suffolk has plummeted since the recession, falling from a peak of almost 1,100 in 2009 to a 12-year low of around 350 in 2013, official figures show.
The news fuelled suggestions an economic recovery is firmly taking shape across the region amid falling unemployment and rising wages.
The research, published in the Insolvency Service’s annual report mapping out personal insolvency rates in England and Wales, showed there were 369 new cases of bankruptcy orders in Suffolk last year.
That was a rate of 6.3 people per 10,000 of the population – the lowest this century – compared to a peak of 19.2 in 2009, when there were 1,089 bankruptcy orders.
The last time the number of people declaring they were bankrupt fell below last year’s figure of 369 was in 2001, when there were 341.
John Dugmore, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are seeing signs of a continued economic recovery across Suffolk and the 12-year low for bankruptcies in our county is a further indication of this.
“When an individual is made bankrupt or a business folds it is awful for everyone involved.
“Having the right business advice at the right time is something that firms under pressure need, which is why services like the Growth Hub for Norfolk and Suffolk, which is now in operation and provides a ‘no wrong door’ service for businesses large and small in the county, is making such a difference.
“Therefore we look forward to continued investment from the government, which will help to bring continued recovery and the number of bankruptcies continuing to reduce.”
It was reported in May how an extra 5,500 people in Suffolk have become self-employed since the recession, climbing to 52,800 in 2013, while weekly pay for full-time workers rose by 7.9% between 2008 and 2013, from £450 to £485.50.
Unemployment has fallen fell by almost a third in a year and the proportion of people in Suffolk claiming benefits has dipped below 2% for the first time since October 2008.
In Essex, the number of people declaring themselves bankrupt fell from a 21st Century high of 2,276 in 2009 – a rate of 21 people per 10,000 of the population – to 632 last year; a rate of 5.7, which was the lowest rate since 2000.