A 15 percent reduction in electrical energy consumption this winter and of 5 percent over the whole year, a reduction in the demand for gas heaters and related products (gas canisters, boilers) of up to 37 percent from November to March, as much as a 61 percent decline in the demand for salt to prevent ice forming – these are just some of the ways that the market has been affected by meteorologists’ forecasts that this winter will be one of the mildest in history and the fact that 2006 was the fourth-hottest year ever. According to data from Climpact, which translates meteorological forecasts into sales forecasts, the demand for a number of products popular in northern Europe, such as tea, hot chocolate and packaged soups, declined considerably this winter. Nevertheless, as the cold weather returned, demand rose by 143 percent within a week. According to Loukos, the climate between April and June of this year will be milder than the same period last year, when temperatures were unusually high. In France, and correspondingly in the rest of Europe, there is expected to be a 2 percent reduction in the demand for bottled water in Mediterranean regions and of up to 7 percent in the north. The corresponding decline in the demand for soft drinks over the same period is expected to be between 1 and 4 percent.