The number of West Midlands businesses which collapsed during 2013 was down by nine per cent on the previous year.

A survey by professional services provider Deloitte revealed that business failures in the region dropped to 235 from 259 in 2012.

Nationally, 1,629 businesses went into administration in 2013, compared with 1,833 last year, a fall of 11 per cent.

Administrations in the retail sector were down by six per cent despite a number of high profile failures.

However in the final quarter of 2013 administrations in the sector surged by 11 per cent year-on-year.

Failures in the hospitality and leisure sector were down annually from 171 to 141 while manufacturing administrations dropped to 273 from 284.

The most substantial reduction came in the property and construction sector where administrations plunged to 322 from 426.

 Only the healthcare and social services sector saw an increase in administrations of seven per cent.

Dominic Wong, restructuring services partner at Deloitte in Birmingham, said: “The high street has undergone a re-balancing, and this is what is being reflected by these figures.

"A year ago we were about to see HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops enter administration, but I would not expect as many high profile retail casualties this time round.

““What’s most notable is the decline of administrations in the property and construction industry.

“This is a significant reduction, and reflects the recovering health of the sector. 

"This drop has, unsurprisingly, had a positive knock-on effect for the hospitality and leisure sector, which has also seen a decrease in administrations,” Mr Wong continued.