The number of small businesses going bankrupt jumped by 48 per cent over the last 12 months, while small business start-ups fell by 95 per cent over the same period.

Analysis by Dun & Bradstreet Australia of business start-ups and failures for the December quarter 2011 found that across the economy, business failures were down 10 per cent on the September quarter 2011, but up more than 40 per cent for the year.

This coincides with Dun & Bradstreet’s downgrades during the December quarter of more than 128,000 firms that are likely to experience financial distress over the coming twelve months.

According to Dun & Bradstreet CEO, Christine Christian, Australian business failures have trended steadily upwards since 2008, growing over 30 per cent in the last three years.

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