The number of insolvencies in the pub, restaurant and wider leisure sector fell 18.6% in August against the same month in 2011, making it the strongest performer among the top 10 UK industries. That’s according to the latest insolvency index from Experian, which found that the insolvency rate in the leisure & hotels sector – which includes pubs and restaurants – fell from 0.15% in August 2011 to 0.12% last month. Meanwhile, there were no insolvencies in the brewery sector in August, a figure unchanged from August 2011. The survey points to a stabalising of the insolvency rate across UK businesses as a whole. During August, 1,723 companies (0.09% of the business population) failed - the same rate as in July 2012 - and similar to the August 2011 figures when 0.08% (or 1,563 firms) failed. Notable improvements came from mid-sized firms. In the 26-50 employee bracket, there was a change from 0.21% in August last year to 0.15% this August – their lowest insolvency rate since December 2007. Continuing the positive trend shown in July, firms in the 11-25 employee bracket also did well – down from 0.21% last August to 0.08% this year. Scotland was the most improved region in August, with its year-on-year insolvency rate moving from 0.09% to 0.06%. The biggest month-on-month drop was in Yorkshire, which saw its rate fall from 0.11% in July to 0.08% in August. Max Firth, managing director of Experian Business Information Services UK & Ireland, said: “Since March we’ve seen insolvency rates flatten out, which is a positive and welcome trend. In addition, we’ve seen real pockets of improvement, such as in Scotland and Yorkshire, which have been sustained over a number of months now. “But firms cannot afford to be complacent. They need to continue sensible financial practices such as risk planning and monitoring their financial health and those of their customers and suppliers.”