The vast majority of small shopkeepers in Majorca have felt the pinch this summer and are braced for a lean winter. The results of a survey carried out by the Federation of Balearic Commercial Businesses (Afedeco) during the last week of August, has revealed that 67.9 per cent of small shopkeepers have seen a sharp downturn in business in comparison to last summer. Federation president Pau Bellinfante said that at the end of August last year, 47 per cent of small shopkeepers reported an excellent summer's trade, only 13.3 per cent said business has been either poor or very poor. The summer is now over and just 24.3 per cent claim to have enjoyed a profitable season, 41.7 per cent have seen business slow down, some drastically. The survey concludes that volume of trade fell by nine per cent this summer, double the decline last summer while last August, 69 per cent of shopkeepers said that the flow of clients was on par with the year 2000, this summer, 60 per cent say that fewer shoppers have entered their stores. The federation said yesterday that the drop in clients this summer has been 4.3 per cent, double last summer's. Palma traders have been hit just as those across Majorca and over 50 per cent view the tourist season as having been either poor or very poor. The knock on from the tourism crisis has been felt hardest in Calvia, where shopkeepers report sales down by 73 per cent, Cala Rajada 87 per cent and Arenal, where sales have plummeted by 83 per cent. After all the arguing over the condition of the tourist industry and the performance of the summer season, there appears top be little left to argue about as the crisis start to take its toll on the Balearics as a whole.

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