THE large supermarkets are weathering the economic storm that is causing its smaller competitors to founder.
The latest figures show that, taking into account inflation and the number of working days, the big supermarket chains grew their volume by 6 percent during the last month compared with an average decrease of 3.4 percent.

The large chains have seen a 3.7 percent increase in sales since January, compared to the decreases being experienced by the rest of the sector.
The retail sector as a whole experienced a decrease of 0.3 percent in April compared with the same period last year.
The 3.4 percent decrease in April is the second consecutive drop this year. However, the decrease was much lower than that in March (8.7 percent).
Food products experienced a growth in sales of 1.2 percent.
Sales of non-food products decreased by 1.8 percent. Of these, personal items dropped 0.8 percent, while homeware dropped 5.8 percent. Other goods grew by 3.7 percent.

The big chains have seen their sales volume grow by 5.9 percent in the last 12 months. However, the independents and small chains have seen sales decrease during the same period by 2.1 percent.

In terms of employment, there was an increase of 1 percent in the retail sector during the month, according to the National Institute of Statistics. The Balearics experienced a slight decrease of 0.1 percent however.