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Roundup: Britain's business world seen as a matter of life and death in new report

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

The number of new businesses born in Britain in 2015 was the highest since comparable records started in 2000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported Wednesday.

ONS said the number of business births increased to 383,000 between 2014 and 2015, a birth rate of 14.3 percent compared with a rate of 13.7 percent in 2014.

The number of business deaths in Britain was 252,000, decreasing from 9.7 percent to 9.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, the lowest death rate since 2006.

London, said ONS, had the highest business birth rate at 18.6 percent and also the highest business death rate.

An ONS spokeswoman said: "Figures show that since 2011 the rate of business births has exceeded the rate of deaths. In recent years, the gap widened and in 2015, businesses were born at a rate which was 4.9 percentage points higher than the death rate."

"This reflects a continued turnaround from the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 when businesses faced uncertainty around the economic outlook and constrained access to finance as the financial sector adjusted to the global shock," said the spokeswoman.

ONS said the strengthening in the rate of business births is consistent with the strengthening of the labor market from an employment rate of 70.1 percent in September 2011 to 74.1 percent at the end of 2015.

It added that the March 2016 Economic Review highlighted the strength of the labor market and employment rate in 2015.

"As the labor market began to recover in 2012, job-to-job moves, an indicator of labor market confidence, rose sharply and this improvement may have given workers the confidence they need to move between employers and also the confidence to start new businesses," added the ONS study.

The broader economic backdrop also likely supported business creation with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) continuing for a sixth successive year in 2015.

The improvement in business survival and birth rates in recent years could be attributed to lower interest rates and a fall in oil prices, added ONS.

Statistics from ONS show there were around 2.67 million active businesses in Britain in 2015, an increase of 121,000 businesses on 2014.

The highest rate of business births were in business administration and support and the second-highest rate in transport and storage.

Within the overall number of business births, professional, scientific and technical had the largest number of businesses at 81,000.

London had the highest business birth rate at 18.6 percent, followed by the East Midlands (14.4 percent) and North West and West Midlands (14.1percent) while Northern Ireland had the lowest birth rate, at 9.7 percent.

London had the highest number of business births and deaths, at 101,000 and 57,000 respectively, a death rate of 10.5 percent.

ONS figures for a five-year survival rate for businesses born in 2010 and still active in 2015 was 41.4 percent, with the lowest survival rate of 39.3 percent recorded in London. Endit