THE Balearics witnessed a 5.3 percentage increase in its retail trade figures in September but was outstripped by Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Galicia where figures of 10.9 percent, 7.8 percent and 7.8 percent were registered, respectively. The Spanish National Institute of Statistics confirmed yesterday that across Spain, results in retail trade had shown an average national increase of 5.9 percent in respect of the previous month. Notably, employment in the sector had grown by 1.8 percent over the lat 12 months. At the other end of the scale, the regions which showed least growth in sales were La Rioja (1.3%); the Canary Islands (1.7%); as well as the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa (2.3% and 2.8% respectively). Compared with August this year, the national average registered a drop of 0.5 percent due to declining trade in 12 of the countries regions, the most accute witnessed in Aragon (-1%). When seen against figures for September 2004, employment has only fallen in the sector in Asturias and the Canary Islands but rose significantly in Castilla-La Mancha by 5 percent. Meanwhile, a total of 83 traditional businesses in Palma have taken part in a pilot shop window-dressing scheme to encourage extra custom.
The Confederation of Balearic Businesses (CAEB) joined forces at their headquarters yesterday with other trading associations in the Balearics to judge the results of the scheme. According to CAEB's Creativity and Presentation department, it is of paramount importance that a shop owner is aware of how crucial a good window display can be to his business.

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