During the first three months of this year, a total of 527 new companies have been set up, 3.3 per cent less than the first third of last year. Since the start of the year a total of 80 companies have folded and eight merged. The business boom has been reported in Madrid and Cataluña. At a national level, 20.553 new businesses have sprung up across the country this year, 3.6 per cent more than in 2000. Some of the key reasons for the slight decline in number of new businesses are concerns of a recession in the Balearics and general slowing in the growth of the local economy. A number of potential new companies are also waiting for the introduction of the single currency at the start of next year in order to see how, if at all, the Euro will effect the market place. The costs of replacing office equipment and systems with Euro compatible technology is also prompting some people to hedge their bets and wait for the New Year, when the market as a whole will be Euro compatible, or should be, as the Balearics is lagging behind the rest of the country in adapting for the single currency.


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