PALMA
THE Balearic sales got underway yesterday offering discounts ranging from 10 to 50 percent, with traders forecasting that shoppers will be spending an average of 150 euros a person over the next two months.

Angel Pujol, Secretary of the regional small-to-medium-sized traders' association, Pimeco said yesterday that figures for the Balearics are above the national average spending forecast which stands at 120 euros per person for the same period. Pujol said however that Monday was not a particularly good day to start bargain shopping as it is a day when the majority of money earners are at work. He also recognised that some families are struggling to keep up mortgage payments after the imposition of higher interest rates, so that bargain hunting may have become “a non-essential luxury.” The large hypermarkets and stores believe that this year's “Sales” period which will last until the end of February, will be “significant” for business. Unlike small traders, they asserted that trading had been brisk on their premises during the last fortnight of December and the first week of January, and that in spite of debt concerns, the public were still attracted by low prices and special offers. Balearic Business Federation president, Bartomeu Servera, said yesterday that large discounts will be applied to a “vast” amount of winter stock which has accumulated due to the fact that autumn temperatures last year remained high, resulting in the public dressing in “summery” clothes almost until the end of November. The National Consumers' Union warned that shoppers should look for a “double” price tag on items they are considering buying, one showing the pre-sales figure and the other, the discounted price.

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