U.S. business failures declined 6.6% in 1988 over the previous year, the largest annual drop in a decade, Dun & Bradstreet Corp. reported today.
The business-information company said 57,098 businesses went under last year, compared with 61,111 in 1987.
"The significant decline in failures underscores the continued strength of the economy, now in its seventh year of expansion," said Joseph W. Duncan, chief economist for Dun & Bradstreet.
"The nation's weakest regions are showing improvements, while those areas that led the expansion are holding their own," he said.
The Dun & Bradstreet survey said failures were down in six of the nation's nine census regions, with only the Middle Atlantic states reporting a significant increase in business failures.
The decline in failures was especially notable in states with agriculture and oil-based economies, according to the survey.