Friday, 16 June 2017

Spanish Manufacturing Growing at Highest Rate for 19 Years

Spanish Manufacturing Growing at Highest Rate for 19 Years

Spain continues to grow on all fronts.

Jobs are being created in the Spanish manufacturing sector at their highest rate since 1998, with data from economists showing the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of the country rose faster than anticipated; hitting highs of 55.4 in May.

The PMI measures the general health of a country’s manufacturing sector. It is determined by the amount of new orders, delivery times, production output, and employment figures.

A ranking of 50 indicates there has been growth over the past month. Analysts suggest that the performance in May was the strongest so far this decade and a great sign that the Spanish economy is gearing up to improve its GDP over last year.

While employment in Spain sits at one of the highest levels in Europe – 17.8% - it has improved the most in the Eurozone over the past 12 months.

The senior economist of IHS Markit Andrew Harker remarked that May was a great month for the Spanish manufacturing sector. Firms were bringing in staff at the highest pace they had for 19 years. Harker expects that job growth will continue for the short-term at the very least as new work continues to open up and the market continues to prove it can handle pressure.

Tourism, real estate, and agriculture are typically the strongest areas of the Spanish economy. Ever since the double-dip recession however, the nation’s employment laws have been liberated somewhat, opening up jobs in the manufacturing sector as more and more companies choose to invest in Spanish workers.

It’s not all good news however; job security and wages have shrunk somewhat recently. The good news is Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has promised he will address these issues in the near future.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Three Tips for Staying Cool This Summer in Spain

Three Tips for Staying Cool This Summer in Spain

The summer is now in full swing in the Costa Del Sol
As the temperatures across much of Europe reached highs of 30 last weekend – even in “drab and dreary” London – people are getting lost in thoughts of Summer; how it can be best enjoyed, where it should be spent (and who with), and – for some – how to stay cool during the scorching summer season.

If you live in Spain, or plan on holidaying in the country, then you should know that the country has some of the best summer weather there is to go around. Temperatures can reach as high as the 40s during the peak summer days of June to August however, and sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool.

The good news is that there are well over 40 million Spaniards who know a thing or two about staying cool this summer. They’ve mastered it after doing it for centuries after all.

Here are some three tips for staying cool this summer in Spain if you don’t have the time to talk to your Spanish friends and get their advice.

Grab some Gazpacho

You shouldn’t literally grab Gazpacho, as this will just make a mess, but you can stay cool by making gazpacho a staple of your summer diet. This ice cold treat will offer you a simple and healthy choice for lunch and dinner to keep you cool.

It’s possible to buy ready-made gazpacho from supermarkets, or you can make your own at home. You’d be surprised how filling this cold tomato soup is, along with how low in calories but high in energy it is. Having a medium sized bowl of the stuff for lunch can keep you fuelled until the evening.

Early to Rise, Early to Bed

It sounds exhausting to have to get up as early as Spaniards, never mind going to bed as late as them, but there is a method to the madness in the summer months. If you’re up and about before 8 in the morning then you can enjoy a brief few hours of coolness before the sun rises too high.

Equally, many Spaniards come out to enjoy the twilight hours when the sun sets. It’s the ideal time for a little alfresco dining and cool drinks in the plaza. So, how do you find the energy to do all this? The answer is simple really; the siesta! There’s nothing quite as Spanish – or refreshing – as taking a nap in a shaded and cool spot in the middle of a dry, scorching hot day.

Get Plenty of Water

The good news is there is water everywhere in Spain, even in the alleyways and bodegas of beautiful Old Town in Seville. Whether it comes from fountains in courtyards to rooftop pools, Seville certainly has quite the love affair with fresh water; even though it is one of the hottest cities in Europe.

Things are much easier down on the Costa del Sol. The coastal winds provide a gentle breeze to bring down the temperatures a little, but summer temperatures reach above and beyond 30 on most days. If that’s the case, just hit up the nearest pool or fountain, or just go to the beach and relax in the ocean. Just make sure you put on your suntan lotion!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

How Does The World See Spain? As Great Food, Great Tourism, and Great Athletes

Spain is considered to be one of the best countries in the world
How Does The World See Spain? As Great Food, Great Tourism, and Great Athletes

If the stereotypical view of Spain is one of flamenco dancing, bullfighting, and seaside siestas, then the 2017 version will provide an accurate update.

According to the country image barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute; the thing that comes to mind for most people when they think about Spain are the bountiful beaches, the fabulous foods, and the amazing athletes.

The barometer looked at the brand strength of Spain, as viewed from the eyes of over 4,00 people across 11 countries in Europe, Asia, and America.

The latest responses show the image of Spain has improved to a score of 7.1. The country has been able to shake off the negativity of the economic crisis and shed the image of having no opportunities for employment.

Spain is now considered to be a place filled with sunshine, sports, and fine food. This is sure to leave the tourism industry feeling pretty pleased. However, one image Spain has not managed to shed just yet is the image of being a poor place to do business.

The most valued commodity in Spain remains holidaymaking facilities and attractions. German, French, and British respondents in particular valued these traits highly. The barometer showed people in China, Japan, Italy and Turkey still hold true to the traditional images of Spain; flamenco, football, and bullfighting.

63% of people from France and Germany said they consider Spain to be a “poor” country, with half of Brits agreeing with them. The good news is that the perception that Spain is lazy has fallen down to 26% from the 40% of 2014.

When it comes to goods produced, Zara remains the most well-known brand in Spain, receiving the highest grade on the barometer for best-known companies and brands (7.5). Next came Iberia Airlines with 7.2, BBVA with 7, and the car company Seat, which also scored 7.

The French, Italians, and the Brits place a high value on the olive oil, textiles, and wines of Spain; putting a premium on these Spanish products.

The country with the highest score on the image barometer was Japan, with a score of 7.6. Next came Germany and the UK with 7.5. The barometer said that these three country has their own strong national images, with easily identifiable products and traits.

Monday, 12 June 2017

How the Improved Economy of Spain is Helping Ease Parent-child Relations

Spanish families continue to be close to there children and may live at
home for longer than northern Europeans
How the Improved Economy of Spain is Helping Ease Parent-child Relations

“Too lazy to earn a living” is how one Spanish judge described a 23-year-old woman who requested she could continue to receive financial assistance from her parents.

While the woman in question lost her cases, these cases became common in Spain after the credit crunch and double-dip recession of 2008. It all left many young Spaniards forced to either return home to their parents, or just not leave the nest in the first place in order to keep a roof over their heads.

When you throw in the Spanish culture, which is one where young people will stay with their parents for much longer than people from other European countries, and you have a cocktail of resentment, lost opportunities, and the cases mentioned above – where young Spanish people are considered to be apathetic and lazy.

It looks like things could soon be changing as the economy of Spain continues to improve, the job market is strengthening, and mortgages are becoming more affordable and available.

As Spain puts a high value on strong family bonds, it’s not an uncommon sight to see young Spaniards live at home until their late 20s. However, the recession saw people in their 30s living with their parents – a situation that left all parties involved dealing with a lot of frustration.

Eurostat suggests that the average of Spaniards leave their homes is 29 – which is nine years later than the average Swede and still above the EU average of 28. Spanish laws have always decreed that parents need to provide for their offspring until their children reach a state of economic dependence and are able to fend for themselves.

This vague law features no upper age limit and it’s been taken advantage of a number of times, but there are some exceptions, such as the recent Cantabrian case. The judge in that case exercised the caveat that the law doesn’t apply when the behaviour of a child prevents them from being able to live their lives properly, such as being lazy or being unwilling to seek their own independence.

The economic situation of today has improved greatly, meaning many young Spaniards are running out of excuses for not being independent. This is good news across the long-term as the young Spaniards that are becoming independent today will provide an additional boost to the economy, as well as ease the tensions with their parents generated by living together too long.

The Spanish also place a high value on higher education, with most Spaniards in their 20s still in some form of full-time education.