Staff Reporter
PRICES fell in the Balearics last July, to a lesser extent than in any other region of Spain.
The decrease of 0.1 percent, resulted in accumulated inflation settling at 2.1 percent and the year-on-year figure (the last 12 months) standing at 3 percent, four points below the national average.

According to Consumer Price Index figures made available yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics, July prices in the Balearics rose above all in hotels, cafés and restaurants (1.6 percent).

In the first 7 months of the year (accumulated rate), the most notable increases were in transport (5.6%) and in alcoholic drinks and tobacco (5%) and hotels, cafés and restaurants (4.8%). Decreases were registered in clothing and footwear (-4.9%) and leisure and culture (-1.2%).

In the last 12 months (year-on-year rate), prices fell in leisure and culture (1.5%) and communications (-0.3%), and rose particularly in transport (5.3%), educational material (5%) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (4.9%).

Whilst the National Institute of Statistics report confirmed that the Balearics was the region of Spain where inflation had decreased the least, with the country's average decrease standing at 0.8 percent, the accumulated Cost of Living Index (IPC) for Spain reached 2.8 percent, 7 points higher than in the Balearics, and the national year-on-year rate of 3.4 percent is 3 points higher than that of the Balearics.

Following behind the Islands in terms of falls in inflation figures, Madrid was the region with the second lowest drop in prices (0.4 percent), followed by Cantabria and Navarra, which both registered a decrease of 0.6 percent. Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Extremadura and Galicia reduced their IPC by 1 percent, and the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa laid claim to the greatest fall in July of 1.6 percent.

General Workers Union (UGT) Secretary in the Islands, Manuel Pelarda, has suggested that fuel price increases could trigger a further year-on-year inflation rate rise which could reach 3.6 percent in 2004, “double the figures predicted for this year”.

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