- UK businesses across nearly every sector of the economy were showing positive signs of stability following the EU Referendum, new research from independent insolvency firm Begbies Traynor reveals.

According to Begbies Traynor's Red Flag Alert research for Q3 2016, which monitors the financial health of UK companies, in the three months following the EU Referendum, levels of 'Significant' financial distress among UK businesses fell as the economy showed resilience in the face of Brexit.

The research reveals that levels of 'Significant' distress fell by 6% during the past three months, from 263,517 struggling businesses in Q2 2016 down to 248,916 companies in Q3 2016. 92% of these companies, or 229,620, were SMEs in Q3 2016.

Meanwhile, year-on-year the number of UK businesses suffering 'Significant' financial distress fell 2% across the economy as a whole. This new data chimes with recent ONS data which reported that Brexit has had no major effect on the UK economy thus far.

Executive chairman Ric Traynor said: "Overall, the UK economy appears to be in a stronger position than expected following the EU Referendum result. While we wait to see whether the Government opts for a 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit strategy, businesses at least appear to be better placed to tackle any new challenges on the horizon ahead of the Government's imminent negotiations.

"However, given that the details of the future Brexit deal are as yet unknown, it is still too early to tell what longer term impact the 'Leave' decision might have on the UK economy. Clearly though, the stronger the UK economy becomes pre-Brexit, the better it will be able to withstand any post-Brexit shocks."

According to Begbies Traynor's research, the most marked improvement in financial health during Q3 2016 was within the UK construction sector, where the number of companies experiencing 'Significant' distress fell by 11% to 28,917 (Q2 2016: 32,311 companies).

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