STAFF REPORTER
MADRID

PEOPLE living in the Balearic Islands will each be spending an average of 70 euros (22 percent) less at this year's summer sales than they did during the same period in 2009, an independent consumer group (FUCI) said yesterday in Madrid.

The downturn, said the group's latest market research report, is the greatest in the last five years. The same study showed that at national level, people will be spending an average of 65 euros this year, 27 percent less than they did in 2009.

The findings were obtained through interviews with more than 2'500 people last May and during the first fortnight of June to find out ahead of the sales, what people's intentions and spending power are. Although in the Balearics, the sales won't be starting until 7th July, they begin in the rest of the country on 1st July.

Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia are the regions where research showed that people will be spending the most in the sales and the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Galicia are where they will be spending the least.

In order to save money, revealed the report, 34 percent of those interviewed said they would be avoiding buying brand names, 27 percent said they would be buying the cheapest items on offer and 35 percent said they would keep any purchases they made to items they really needed.

Clothes and accessories, claimed FUCI, continue to be the items most in demand at the summer sales although men were showing an increasing interest in information technology.

FUCI President, Agustina Laguna, said that “the research shows just how much the crisis is cutting into people's buying power.” She said that the sales used to be an occasion when people would take the opportunity to “renew their wardrobes”, and now they have been reduced to buying “just the barest essentials.”

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