The hotels and leisure industry has seen a massive jump in the number of businesses failing in the first half of the year, research has revealed.
The analysis by information services provider Experian revealed that 329 companies in the sector failed in the first half of 2007, an increase of 16.3% on 2006.
The figures contrast with the statistics for the overall market which showed that the number of businesses becoming insolvent across the UK has fallen by 6.9% to 8,930 during the first six months of 2007.
Other sectors feeling the heat include retail and agriculture, the study showed.
Jo Howard, marketing director for Experian's Business Information division, said: "The level of failures among the leisure and retail sectors is particularly worrying as these sectors tend to be barometers of the financial health of the nation.
"It could reflect a consequence of the general slowdown in consumer spending as the five interest rate increases have begun to bite, which means that we could see more failures in these sectors in the coming months."
By Daniel Thomas
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