Despite the strength of sterling against the peseta and a slight increase in British tourism, shop takings in Palma Nova, Magalluf, Santa Ponsa and Paguera slumped by 30 percent, according to a report compiled by the Balearic Federation of Shopkeepers. This body represents almost 1'500 shops most of which are in the Calvia area. “The forecasts we made about an increase in German tourism proved wrong but the British have also bought less as well,” said a spokesperson. Items hit by the drop in sales included clothes, perfume and leather products. Many shops in the main tourist areas will close their doors for business towards the end of next month. Bars in the Magalluf area are also complaining of a drop in takings. Even the ever popular Calle Punta Ballena in Magalluf has felt the summer blues. It had been thought that the strength of the pound, which has remained steady at about the 260 peseta mark throughout the summer, would have led to increase in the spending of British tourists. The reverse has happened. The poor holiday season is expected to take its toll on the Balearic economy. The local ministry for tourism has said that more people than ever came on holiday to Majorca in July and August but, according to the shopkeepers, their spending power was low. Business owners in resorts popular with German tourists are also complaining of a severe drop in sales.

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