Joan Collins THE Balearics was the only autonomous region in Spain where prices did not fall in January, a month which traditionally produces a fall because of the start of the sales, as has happened in the rest of the autonomous regions, according to figures released yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). However, the Retail Index (IPC) remained stable in the Balearics in January compared with December, although the interannual figure (over the last 12 months) rose to 3.8 percent, three points more than in December. The national IPC fell four points in January but interannual inflation rose to 4.2 percent, half a point more than in December. This was due mainly to the increase in the price of transport. Nevertheless, the Balearics kept its place as the third autonomous region which recorded the lowest increase in prices in interannual terms, behind the Canary Islands (3.2 percent) and Extremadura (3.5 percent). The leaders in this group were Catalonia, Murcia and Castilla La Mancha (all with 4.6 percent). In the Balearics, prices in clothing and shoes fell notably (-9.3 percent) because of the sales, although this fall was less than in the whole of Spain (-11.7 percent). Also, the monthly fall in the islands in the culture and leisure sectors (-0.3 percent) was much less than the national average (-1.6 percent). Alcoholic drinks and tobacco prices also fell (-2.2 percent) and household goods (-0.4 percent), while the main rises were in teaching (1.6 percent) much more than the national rise of 0.2 percent, transport (1.5 percent) and other services (1.9 percent). Transport has maintained its sharp price rises in the Balearics, the interannual figure rose to 8.2 percent, much higher than the 6.6 percent in December and higher than the 7.9 percent national average, attributable to the high price of a barrel of oil. In monthly terms, housing (2.1 percent), food and non alcoholic drinks (0.8 percent), medicines (0.3 percent), communication (0.2 percent) and the hotel, cafe and restaurant sector (0.1 percent) rose in the islands, while the price of household goods fell (-0.4 percent) In interannual terms and in addition to the rise in transport costs, prices rose notably in housing (5.8 percent), teaching (4.2 percent), food and non alcoholic drinks (3.9 percent), others (3.5 percent) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (3 percent), while only communication fell (-1.3 percent). Ceuta and Melilla, and La Rioja had the highest reduction in prices, with a fall of 1.1 percent and 1 percent respectively. On the other hand, the Canary Islands, Valencia and Madrid showed the least reduction with 0.2 percent. In Spain, underlying inflation (which does not include energy prices or non manufactured food) stayed at its annual figure of 2.9 percent in January, a 1.3 point difference from the General Index.