Palma de Majorca.—The news came yesterday after the release of a report by the Chamber of Commerce on “Business Outlook for Spain and Europe in 2012” in which it was claimed that the only region which would fare worse than the Balearics is Cantabria.

Business in the Islands next year, said the Chamber of Commerce, is expected to slump by more than 10 percent but the setback would be less marked than the downturn in trade registered this year.

Impresarios in the region are expecting that the private sector will continue to “adjust” their staffing levels, and foercasting that unemployment will rise by a little under 10 percent, less severe than jobless figures for this year. Analysts have further commented through the Chamber of Commerce report that businesses in the Balearics are expecting that investment in the Islands next year will fall by 25 percent, the fourth highest amount in the country.

Key market players have said they see little, if any, economic growth at a national level next year.

Optimism
Despite the bleak outlook, a note of optimism emerged from the Chamber of Commerce research yesterday indicating that Balearic businesses are braced for the 10 percent slump in trade next year, by claiming that they will be doing considerably better than the country as a whole.

Regional businesses, well aware that trading within Spanish boundaries will not sustain them, are now looking to the export market next year, hoping to boost it by around 20 percent - a figure significantly above average export trade figures for European Union countries.

Nationally, economic commentators have said that although exports will contribute to recovery, it is going to be a “slow process.” Looking at how the individual regions of Spain are viewing their fortunes next year, nine are predicting an upturn in their economy whilst eight are forecasting further slowdown.

In all cases however, results will not be as dismal as they have been this year. Extremadura, Valencia and Asturias are top of the list in predicted success whilst Cantabria, the Balearic Islands, and Castilla-La Mancha are in for a rough ride.

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