A recent survey suggested that Balearic economic growth was below the national average which rather questions claims by the local government that the islands are back on track after some serious economic problems. If you walk around Palma at the moment you do get the impression that things are slighly subdued. There seems to be plenty of shop-closing-down-sales and even some empty shop sites even in the most sought-after shopping areas. Also, there is plenty of property on the market. Higher interest rates and a rising cost of living appears to be slowly taking its toll on the local economy. The fact that shops only sold 40 percent of their Christmas stock and were forced to reduce the prices of the remainng 60 percent does give plenty of food for thought. It could be argued that the islands have enjoyed many years of record economic growth and perhaps the time had come for a slight halt. As we all know economic growth on the this island depends heavily on the tourist industry. I have suspected for some time now that the season was not as good as some people like to make out. A record number of visitors perhaps but with reduced spending power and with the majority coming in a three month period. As I said at the start of this column, I sincerely doubt that all is well.
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