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By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
FEBRUARY was the worst trading period for the past 12 months, according to the majority of independent retailers in Majorca yesterday.
Now that the Winter sales are over, they should have finished at the end of last month, the Small to Medium Sized Business Association, Pimeco, has spent the past week canvassing its members across the island for their views on trade during February, and the findings have not been very encouraging.

According to 60 percent of Pimeco's members, takings were worse than during February last year. 34 percent said that revenue was the same and just six percent claim to have made more money.

The retail sector did not appear to perform very well during January either.
Despite the winter sales getting off to a flying start with retailers reporting a near record breaking first two weeks, consumer confidence then died.
According to Pimeco, six out of ten shop keepers said that takings were down on January 2010 while 34 percent claimed trade had remained steady.
Five percent reported an improvement.
Areas worst hit were clothing, footwear and accessories.
Pimeco sources said yesterday that what the findings show is that most families have watched their disposable income continue retracting and that consumer confidence is still very low.

And, for the moment, Pimeco sees no signs of an improvement with people worried about their job prospects, the increase in fuel prices - which is hitting both the consumer and the small business sector. As the Bulletin reported over the weekend, February ended on a low with a surge in the number of businesses deciding to cut their losses and close after the Winter sales failed to live up to their expectations.