Insolvency Insights - Analysis of ASIC's December 2013 External Administration Appointments Statistics
A total of 10,821 companies entered external administration in 2013, a record for a year since data was first made available in 1999.
Economic indicators for December saw ongoing positive indicators regarding sentiment, which has benefited by record low interest rates. NAB's business survey showed business confidence remained positive in December, while the Westpac-Melbourne Institute survey of Consumer Sentiment - although falling more than 5 points - was also positive at 103.3.
Mining in Australia is undergoing an industry-wide turnaround in response to pressure from swings in commodity prices, lower demand from developing countries, and the impact of the Australian dollar. The core emphasis of companies' restructuring operations has been on reducing costs, and in many instances these efforts have been successful. A detailed joint report from FTI Consulting and Clifford Chance on this special focus, Australia Mining Sector: Digging for Distressed Assets, can be downloaded here.
There has been evidence of a deterioration in the economy, particularly in regards to lagging economic indicators. This includes unemployment, which grew from 5.8% in December to 6.0% in January, according to ABS data. The ANZ's job advertisement series showed a 0.3% fall in advertisements following a 0.7% decline in December.