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Many consumers are counting the costs of Christmas and trying to balance the books to cover the cost of celebrating New Year. 98 per cent of Spain believes that the single currency has made life much more expensive and that, despite the euro nearing its first birthday, only one in four people think in euros without having to convert prices into pesetas, according to a survey carried out by the magazine Consumer. Studies carried out by the Balearic government and the bank Sa Nostra have also reached the same conclusion, despite consumer price index figures being used to try and cover up the euro price hikes. Antoni Riera, head of Economic Studies at Sa Nostra says that, apart from the price increases, psychologically people think 100 pesetas is one euro “that's led to a loss of spending power and consumers tightening their belts.” The euro has pushed the price of some products in the Balearics up by ten per cent, especially in the hotel, restaurant and bar sector according to commercial experts. Nevertheless, seven out of ten people believe that the euro is a strong currency, can compete against the US dollar and will continue to gain in strength. Just under a quarter, 22 per cent, still find the euro a difficult currency to handle while the remainder no longer use euro convertor and calculators. In fact, one of the best selling items this Christmas has been wallets and purses. Twenty per cent of people have changed their wallets in order to handle the new currency, most people claim that they have to now carry more change than with the peseta. Although, according to the Bank of Spain, there is still a sizeable number of people in the Balearics who still have not changed their pesetas into euros.