There were more than 500 insolvencies in the construction sector in the third quarter, an increase of 16% on the second, writes Sarah Richardson.

The latest figures, released this week by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, show that 537 firms went under during the period, compared with 462 in the second quarter. The figure is a leap of over 46% compared with the third quarter of 2007.

Almost 200 of the insolvencies were general construction and civil engineering companies, while 75 came from specialist construction firms.

Sixty firm went under among installation and electrical wiring companies, making this the worst-hit specialist sector.

Conditions for uk manufacturers remained brutal in October

Roy Ayliffe, cips

Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) said small and medium-sized manufacturers were faring the worst in that sector after releasing figures showing that the downturn in UK manufacturing remained severe in October. An output index reading of 42.4 signalled a rate of contraction only slightly slower than the previous month’s survey record.

Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at the CIPS, said:“Conditions for UK manufacturers remained brutal in October. Purchasing managers in the sector have now reported six consecutive months of decline in production, endorsing industry reports that the UK is now technically in recession. Small and medium-sized manufacturers fared the worst, while the government seeks to introduce measures to protect them.”