PALMA/MADRID

SALES and employment in the retail sector fell in the Balearics during October this year by 4.1 and 4.6 percent respectively, in comparison with the same month in 2008. The outcome for the month was worse in the Islands than it was in the rest of Spain where the average decline was 3.9 percent, said the National Institute of Statistics (INE) yesterday.

Across the country as a whole in October, sales fell in all sectors of retail trade except in the large chain stores where a growth of 1.2 percent was registered. Decline was most noticeable in department stores (3.1%) and in one-off businesses (4.1%).

Sales of foodstuffs were down 6.9 percent and household items by 12.5 percent in comparison with last year. Employment in the retail industry was down for both salaried and temporary staff last month especially in department stores where there were job losses of 7.4 percent of the total, and in small chain shops (4.8%).

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