Last year an average of 15'000 to 20'000 pesetas was spent per person on the winter sales and consumer associations are confident that a similar figure of around 210.000 million pesetas will be spent when the sales start in the New Year. The winter sales are starting on their traditional date, January 7 in the Balearics, despite recommendations by the European Union that, to reduce confusion and demand for the euro, they should have been either brought forward or delayed. Last year, while the sales went ahead as usual in the Balearics, some other regions on the mainland changed their sales dates and the results were negative, similar to the alteration of the summer sales in the Balearics this year. Commercial experts doubt that the introduction of the euro will have any negative effects on spending in the sales - the biggest concern is whether consumer confidence has taken a knock over the past few months. Consumer associations are advising shoppers to check all the price tags during the sales, make sure that prices are not being rounded-up and to keep receipts. On average, goods will be reduced by 20 per cent at the start of the sales and as usual discounts will increase depending on demand. For the past few years in Majorca, the sales have failed to have shown any increase in spending, in contrast to the four per cent rise posted across the country.

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