STAFF REPORTER TRADERS in the Balearic Islands reported yesterday that April appears to have marked an end to the downturn in sales since the start of the year. A slight recovery was registered last month thanks to a fall in prices, promotional campaigns and discounts, and the fact that Easter this year fell in April. The monthly assessment provided by Pimeco, the small to medium-sized business association of the Balearic Islands, nevertheless said that 73 percent of the businesses taking part in research believed that results for April 2009 were worse than those for the same month in 2008. As a result, and in spite of the slight upturn in trade, sales continue to be insufficient due to lack of consumer confidence. Pimeco said yesterday that retail trade is “noticeably weak” at the moment.

Pimeco furthered that the fall in sales had endangered the commercial viability of small to medium-sized traders and was therefore also threatening employment levels. Only 13 percent of those interviewed, said the association, claimed that April sales this year were better than those in March. Meanwhile, 37 percent said that they had been worse, showing that the majority of members continue to see the current economic situation as being negative. In Palma, 48 percent of traders said that April had been worse than March, but in the outlying areas of Majorca, the figure dropped to 26 percent.

Pimeco concluded its report by saying that although there had been some relief from a downward sales spiral after a slight upturn in trade this April, the global business picture is still negative when comparisons are made with the same period last year.