The number of personal insolvencies in England and Wales fell last year to the lowest level since 2008, the Insolvency Service has announced. There were 109,477 individual insolvencies last year, down 9% from 2011. In the final three months of 2012, 25,302 people were declared insolvent, down 10% on the previous quarter of that year.

Recent figures showed that the number of firms going bust in England and Wales also fell. The number of receiverships, administrations and company voluntary arrangements among companies fell by 8% last year to 4,593, the lowest level since 2007. In addition, there were 16,138 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations last year, down 4.4% on 2011. These figures count the final winding up of firms at the end of the insolvency process.

There has been a renewed spate of retailers falling into administration recently, including such well known names as HMV, Blockbuster, Jessops and Comet. The continued pressure on consumers, with wages and salary increases being outstripped by inflation, is expected to rein in spending and lead to more retailers closing this year.

Among the personal insolvencies, the number of people going bankrupt continued to fall to 31,765, the lowest level since 2003. However the number of people granted a debt relief order reached a new high of 31,207.

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