STAFF REPORTER SOME 65 percent of Majorcan businesses have failed to reach expected profit targets during this winter sales campaign, due to the low spending power of the shopping public. According to a survey conducted by PIMECO, the small to medium-sized businesses association, shops in the Island's outlying areas did rather better this season following an alarming drop in sales in 2005. PIMECO concluded however, that although overall expectations weren't met, results were slightly up on last year. It would seem that traders have managed to break the negative trend of “better” which appeared to be on a downward sliding scale since 2002, 2003 and 2004. Most noticeably, there was a fall of 14.5 percent in 2005 on figures for 2004. Hence for 2005, 21.5 percent of business owners were of the opinion that the winter sales campaign had gone “better”, compared to only 17.5 percent in 2004 although it was still some way off the 44 percent who were positive about their trading figures in 2002. PIMECO affirmed that there was still “a notable weakness in demand.” Failure to meet sales targets was particularly conspicuous in Palma (64 percent) measured against 61 percent who were disappointed in outlying areas of the Island. Four of every five traders in the capital noticed that although plenty of people had visited their premises, there were few who were able to display real buying power. The 61 percent of businesses in the outlying areas asserted that it was the lack of “ready cash” that had been their undoing during the winter sales campaign, in contrast to the remaining 39 percent who said they hadn't met their targets due to a low headcount of people visiting their premises. In Palma, only 19 percent of traders followed this line of thinking. According to the study carried out by PIMECO which was based on 396 interviews carried out between 20th and 23rd February, only 17 percent of traders in Palma believed that this season had been better than last year, whilst in outlying areas, the percentage rose to 26. In the capital, one in every three businesses (33 percent) believed that the sales had gone worse this year than last, a figure which rose in the towns and villages to 36 percent.