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17Feb94 UK: DRAMATIC DECLINE IN COMPANY FAILURES.

The number of construction companies going bust is dropping dramatically.Figures taken from the Department of Trade and Industry's Insolvency Service show that in the third quarter of last year just 646 construction firms collapsed, compared with 847 in the second quarter.This represents a decrease of almost a quarter and continues a downward trend that began at the end of 1992.And the figures show a 24 per cent fall in construction insolvencies compared with the same quarter in 1992.Economist Penni Coe, of the Building Materials Producers, predicts that the charging of interest on late payments will further reduce insolvencies.She said: 'The figures should improve further now that late payment of debts is being tackled for public sector work.'The insolvency figures are published quarterly by the British Chambers of Commerce. CONSTRUCTION NEWS