By Humphrey Carter

THE Balearic Finance Minister, Carles Manera, claimed yesterday that the Balearics is better positioned than most other autonomous regions of Spain to emerge from the recession sooner rather than later and forecast that the islands will climb out of the economic crisis next year.

There was no mention of green shoots, in fact Manera stressed that the Balearic economy needs to continue proceeding with caution because the economic climate remains “extremely volatile.”

Nevertheless, Manera said yesterday that current economic indications point to a 0.6 percent growth in the region's Gross National Product next year.
However, he was quick to rule out this leading to a surge in the creation of new jobs although he did stress that the employment market will gradually recover over the course of the coming year along with the economy.

The Minister said that the catalyst was the crash in 2009 when the Balearic economy shrunk by nearly three percent.
But, between April and December of this year growth figures of 0.3 and 0.5 percent are being posted and he expects to see the growth trend continue into the coming year as the general economic climate across Europe also begins to improve.

But, the improvements are going to be mid to long term as opposed to short term and the main beneficiary will probably be the next government, be it another Socialist-led government or a return to power of the opposition Partido Popular.

Manera explained that the pillars of economic growth in the Balearics are the service sector and the auxiliary tourism industry which, although have had a tough two years, can look forward to a revival in fortunes and trade next year with current holiday bookings well up on this year and with more flights from existing and new destinations also programmed to help stimulate the holiday market, the region's main source of income.

Manera also suggested that the construction industry is also showing signs of emerging from the recession.
There has been an apparent slow down in job losses.
But, the main focus next year is going to be on tourism and this year, after a poor and very slow start, it appears that the industry is going to finish on a high with a number of businesses making up for their losses incurred during the first half of the roller coaster summer season.

What is more, with one of the biggest winter tourism programmes ever with extra flights from the United Kingdom and Germany, those hotels and tourism outfits, such as the hiking, cycling and adventure sports companies, cooperating in the winter drive could enjoy a lucrative low season


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