Demand for examinership as a corporate recovery mechanism appears to be falling, according to the latest index from the insolvency experts Hughes Blake.

In the first three months of the year, 138 jobs were saved through the examinership process, a fall of nearly two thirds on the same quarter last year.

The figures reflect increased business owner confidence across the country, where the recovery is finally beginning to filter through for many businesses.

However, there are still people who are coping with legacy debt issues in particular, according to the data.

Neil Hughes, Managing Partner at Hughes Blake, welcomed the findings which he said reflect an increasingly widespread recovery.

He said: “Up until now there has been a disconnect between the recovery in the economy at large and the actual lived experience of small and medium businesses.

“Especially outside the urban centres, traders have told us the recovery was slow to impact on their bottom line.

“Legacy debt issues were also weighing on companies and preventing growth. With the latest findings from the Hughes Blake SME Examinership Index, we see a pronounced shift taking hold whereby demand for the examinership corporate recovery mechanism is falling in line with increased business owner confidence and the enhanced opportunities that exist for businesses across the country,” he added.