STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE economy of the Balearic Islands grew by 2.9 percent during the third quarter of the year, a figure which exceeds the European Union average of 2.5 percent.

The president of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, Joan Gual, reporting yesterday on the state of the regional and national economy, said that some aspects of Spanish industry, business and commerce had proved outstanding, and although there will be “adjustments” made to the construction industry results, it will not effect the overall positive trend for the country.

Gual explained that “the kinds of interest payable had reached ceiling level - they aren't able to go any higher and there are no signs that they are going to do so.” Research director at the Chamber of Commerce, Catalina Barceló added that in the next six months, the Central European Bank will keep the interest level steady. Touching on the issue of the rise in costs of basic foodstuffs such as chicken and bread, Barceló attributed it to the soaring costs of a barrel of oil which, she reported, was reaching a record height. If it continues to rise, she said, the Central European bank will make an “adjustment.” The inflated cost of fuel has a knock-on affect in the price of food which is even more accentuated in the Balearics due to the cost of transport in bringing over essential goods to the Islands. Consumer confidence remains intact and it's important “to invest in the future,” Barceló asserted. She described Spain as a country rife with opportunity for investors who can count on their money being couched in a “stable and solvent” financial system. Industry remained on course for growth as it has done over the past quarters but consolidation is required to maximise development trends. The dynamic in the Public Services sector continues unabated in spite of different interest types.

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