Boris Johnson Promises Aid To The Most Vulnerable Families

This Friday the 80% rise in energy prices in the United Kingdom has been confirmed . The British regulator, Ofgem, recalculates each quarter the maximum annual amount that supply companies can charge consumers and, in this latest revision, the cap goes from 1,971 pounds per year to 3,549 pounds per year (2,325 euros and 4,202 euros per year , respectively). Given the exorbitant rise, Boris Johnson has promised to increase aid to households, focusing on the most vulnerable.

The new limit announced today will take effect on October 1 and will run until December 31. Afterwards, the revisions can continue upwards, since, due to price volatility, the regulator now updates the figures every three months and not every half year. Already in the previous calculation, prices rose by 54% and everything indicates that the next adjustments will follow the same path.

The latest revision implies that the maximum price that British households will pay for their bill is 350 euros per month, while currently and until October, that amount is 194 euros per month.

Higher energy prices continue to fuel the cost of living crisis in the UK and also increase the outlook for inflation . Everything, in a context in which the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is on his way out and his replacement continues to be outlined.

In that context, Johnson has said that new measures will be announced in the coming days to protect those who have difficulty paying their energy bills. In addition, he has proposed that financial aid be allocated only to vulnerable households and not to all, as is the case to date.

The British prime minister has also clarified that the aid that had been previously announced will have to increase “obviously” with more money, according to the agencies. Johnson has less than two weeks left on the job.

The British are very aware of the proposals that are being announced by the electoral candidates , Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. If elected, Sunak defends that the measures will be aimed at the most needy and that he will not only protect them with the ceiling on the bill, but with direct financial aid. Truss has not specified, but she has reiterated the commitment to work on price stability and consumer safety.

On the other hand, the limit established by Ofgem affects exclusively families, so companies are facing energy costs without limits being placed on their bills. In the United Kingdom, gas accounts for 40% of energy consumption, to which is added the country’s dependence on purchases of surplus European electricity.

GAP Loses 211 Million In The First Half

The American textile chain Gap closed the first half of its fiscal year with a negative result of 211 million dollars (a similar figure in euros), in contrast to the net profit of 424 million dollars in the same period of the previous year, as announced by the multinational, which has withdrawn its annual forecasts and is looking for a new CEO after the departure of Sonya Singal a month ago.

The deterioration in the accounts of the textile firm reflects the 10.6% drop in sales in the semester, to 7,334 million dollars , after the poor reception of some of the chain’s proposals, through the Old brand. Navy , as well as the impact of higher costs due to inflation and inventory deterioration.

In this way, between the months of May and July, the second fiscal quarter for the company, Gap registered losses of 49 million dollars , compared to profits of 258 million dollars in the same period of 2021 , thus extending to four consecutive quarters the ‘Red numbers’.

Gap sales in the quarter totaled 3,857 million dollars, 8.4% less than a year earlier, with Old Navy revenues falling 12.5% ​​to 2,090 million dollars , while those of the Gap brand were down 9.5% to $881 million.

By contrast, the turnover of the Banana Republic brand rose by 8.9% year-on-year, to 539 million dollars, and those of Athleta by 0.9%, to 344 million dollars.

Likewise, Gap reported that its electronic sales fell by 6% year- on-year , to represent 34% of all billing, while sales in physical stores fell by 10%.

Between May and July, Gap’s gross margin on company sales fell to 34.5% from 43.3% in the second quarter of last year. Also, in the quarter, the firm assumed an adverse impact of 58 million dollars due to the deterioration of inventories.

In this sense, the chain warned that its final inventory increased by 37% year-on-year, which is equivalent to an excess of 3,100 million dollars.

Gap’s chief financial officer, Katrina O’Connell, explained during a conference call with analysts that the firm had an adverse impact of $58 million from the write-off of non-performing inventory , “mainly styles and sizes in Old Navy .”

“We think we had some printing and color errors in our summer assortment, which drove some of the weakness in the quarter,” the executive acknowledged. “Like so many others in our industry, we are managing elevated inventory levels as a result of changing demand trends and changing consumer preferences,” she noted.

At the end of the second fiscal quarter, Gap had 3,390 stores in 40 countries , of which 2,799 are operated directly by the company, which plans to open between 30 and 40 Athleta brand stores and between 20 and 30 Old Navy stores during the year while it expects to close about 50 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America as part of its 350-store closure plan.

‘Crucial moment’
“This is a critical time,” said Bob Martin, Gap’s executive chairman and interim CEO, who said the company is taking steps to better optimize near-term profitability and cash flow by reducing operating costs and unproductive inventory.

In this sense, given the actions that the company has underway and in the midst of a transition to find a new CEO , together with an uncertain macro environment, the company announced that it has withdrawn its previous projections for fiscal year 2022.

Likewise, the financial director of Gap indicated that in the third quarter the multinational will implement a reduction in general investments , including a pause in hiring and vacancies, while it will review investments in marketing and technology in light of the current operating environment. , focusing spending on the most productive and highest performing opportunities.

Another Port Strike In Great Britain Takes Steps To Deaden The Country

Nearly 2,000 workers at the English port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest shipping facility and which handles almost half of the country’s container traffic, began an eight-day strike yesterday to demand better pay conditions.

This is the first forceful measure adopted by the unions in Felixstowe since 1989, and joins other strikes called in recent days by other sectors, such as rail or London underground transport. The stoppage will affect its operations from yesterday until next August 29. Felixstowe, on the east coast of England, manages 4 million TEUs (a 20-foot container equivalent unit) each year and benefits from its proximity to European ports such as Le Havre (France), Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Countries Low).

The strike comes as the UK enters its third day of a rail strike, called for better wages and job security amid sharp rises in energy and food prices. Just one in five trains in the UK were running on Saturday and at some stations not a single train arrived. Thousands of tourists as well as football and cricket fans were frustrated that they couldn’t make it to their matches. The disruptions will continue into Sunday and union leaders say more strikes are likely.

On top of that, last Friday most of London’s underground train lines were down due to another strike. The Unite union claims that Felixstowe’s parent company, CK Hutchison Holding, prioritized profits over giving its workers a fair wage.

The port authorities, for their part, expressed “disappointment” that Unite “did not come to the negotiating table for a constructive discussion and to try to find a solution.” Felixstowe handles almost half of the cargo that comes into the country. The strike could force commercial vessels to be diverted to other ports in the UK or Europe.

A growing number of unions are planning strikes at a time when Britain faces its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. The latest figures put inflation at 10.1% – the highest in 40 years – and a growing number of Britons are struggling to cope with soaring energy and food prices as wages enough to cover the level of the cost of living.

Postal workers, lawyers, British Telecom staff and rubbish collectors have also announced strikes for later this month, which will add to the chaos. Railway employees launched a series of large-scale strikes that suspended national rail travel in June, demanding better wages and working conditions as authorities try to reform the rail system, which has lost much of its revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic and changes in travel patterns.

Field Foresees Losses Of 8,000 Million Due To The Drought

The year 2022 will be remembered, among other things, for being the driest year in recent times, which, together with the high temperatures this summer and the lack of rainfall, endangers the country’s agriculture.

From the agrarian organization Asaja they estimate that this drought could cause losses of more than 8,000 million euros in the field. For this reason, they demand that the Government take the lead in managing the crisis “as other European governments have done” and present urgent measures.

The intense heat waves in summer, with record temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, and the lack of rainfall have had an impact on a decrease in available water, with reservoirs at 39.2% of their capacity in Spain, according to the latest data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

From the agrarian organization they point out that these losses are generated due to the reduction of the main agricultural productions: a 30% reduction in harvest in winter crops or between a 40% and 50% reduction in corn, both in surfaces and in production. , and about half of the estimated production in olive groves, both for table and oil mill.

Added to this are low sunflower yields, which have neutralized the increase in surface areas, significant advances in the harvest and an expected reduction in the harvest of between 25 and 30%, as well as the fall in almond production, with 80% of estimated losses.

On alert since February
And it is that the crisis has been looming on the horizon since the beginning of the year, with a very poor winter in rains and where the alarms went off again after 5 years, since 2017, that a similar situation was not experienced in the national agriculture.

The Government assured in February that it would take the necessary measures while trying to promote sustainable irrigation with energy efficiency and the use of reused or regenerated water, while the autonomous communities propose different solutions according to their reality.

Half a year later the situation has worsened and the data handled by Asaja, which are “disheartening” for the campaign and its short-term forecasts, must be added the possible restrictions that the almost four million hectares of irrigated land in Spain may suffer , which represent a fundamental part of agricultural production.

“If years ago there was talk of a wet Spain and a dry Spain, unfortunately today we can only talk about a dry Spain,” lamented the president of Asaja, Pedro Barato.

Regarding the livestock sectors, Asaja denounces the lack of natural pastures and the “exorbitant” increase in the cost of feeding livestock, which have caused “dramatic” situations such as the closure of farms or the forced slaughter of cattle due to the impossibility of assuming these costs nor being able to pass them on to the following links in the chain.

England braces for crop failure
The British Government has been the first to declare a state of drought in various regions, beginning with restrictions on domestic and commercial use of water. Similarly, it is expected that crops that do not tolerate drought, such as potatoes and corn, may be lost. The irrigation options in the country are diminishing with the passing of days and the reservoirs are emptying at an astonishing speed.

Extensions Of Temporary Contracts With Young People Exceed Their Conversions To Permanent Contracts

In the first seven months after the entry into force of the labor reform, 3.97 million permanent contracts were signed, 2.85 more than in the same period of 2021. But only 17% of this increase corresponds to conversions of temporary positions to indefinite .

Conversions to permanent jobs, although they have doubled to 953,250 in the last year, have lost relevance over stable employment. So far this year they have contributed 24% of the total of indefinite contracts, when in the first seven months of 2021 they reached 41.6%.

These data suggest that the labor reform has encouraged more the creation of new jobs than the improvement of pre-existing ones.

Something that seems to confirm the comparison with the extensions of temporary contracts . These have fallen from the 1.3 million they reached a year ago to 982,270 so far this year.

They still exceed by 3% those who become fixed. But it is an undeniable improvement if we take into account that a year ago the extensions tripled the conversions. Although a detailed analysis by age group reveals that this gap is still concentrated among the youngest workers.

Thus, among those under 25 years of age, extensions exceed conversions to permanent contracts by 37%.

This relationship can be expressed in another way: 58% of temporary jobs that are renewed do so under the same conditions , without becoming permanent.

On the contrary, among those over 55 years of age, the contracts that are extended are already 20.5% less than those that become indefinite .

The term of the conversions
The increase in conversions and the reduction in extensions responds to the evolution of indefinite and temporary contracts after the new regulation .

But despite its impact, and the reinforcement of the inspection activity, few changes are noted in the way in which they are proposed. Eight out of ten correspond to temporary contracts of less than one year.

When this limit is exceeded, the conversions drop, to the point that the transformation of temporary beyond the legal maximum of 36 months to extend temporary ( a threshold that, however, is exceeded by thousands of public sector interns ), have even been reduced compared to a year ago.

The contracts that have increased their conversions the most, 202%, are those with a duration of less than three months . At this point, it must be taken into account that the contracts most penalized for their termination are the shortest .

The temporary contracts that are converted are mostly those justified by production circumstances (57.9%) followed by work and service contracts (35.3%) .
This percentage is similar to that of last year, which is still striking because contracts for works and services were abolished in the labor reform, with the idea that they would become permanent discontinuous contracts. A ‘grace period’ of three months was even granted to facilitate this transfer .

But this has not happened. In the first seven months, 71,914 conversions were made from temporary to discontinuous fixed. A figure that represents less than a third of the total contracts for work and services made indefinite.

Most are first extensions
As regards the extensions that are signed, seven out of ten are made for periods of less than three months , a level similar to that before the labor reform.

In addition, in 96% of cases it is the first extension of that contract. This percentage, however, is also equivalent to that of a year ago.

In this sense, the data on extensions reinforce the hypothesis that the reform has not improved the quality of the temporary contracts that continue to be made, which continue to be exposed to high turnover rates .

Iñaki Urdangarin Cries Inconsolably With Ainhoa Armentia

The photographs, published this Wednesday by Diez Minutos , were taken just a few days ago in the vicinity of her work, the Imaz & Asociados law firm, where the two met when he also worked there while he was completing his third grade.

The ex of the infanta Cristina arrived in his car under the protection of the escorts who continue to ensure his safety because he is a relative of Felipe VI . Shortly after, Ainhoa ​​herself came down from the offices and inside the vehicle they had a conversation that ended with Iñaki, visibly nervous and making a fuss, covered in tears. Ainhoa ​​tried to reassure him and take away his anguish, although his efforts fell on deaf ears. More than 20 minutes this unpleasant talk between the two lasted. Armentia went back to work and he, worried, took the car elsewhere.

Read also – The infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin, together in Bidart: tension in the beach bar and meeting with their children

It is the first summer that Urdangarin spends separated from the infanta Cristina, with whom he has already signed the dissolution of the capitulations, this being the first step towards the official divorce. A few weeks ago they were together in Bidart, where they met in a beach bar to the amazement of the neighbors and tourists in the area.

They shared a table but did not even look at each other during the 30 minutes that their meeting lasted, in which they exchanged phrases while looking at the ocean. The bodyguards of both prevented this meeting from being immortalized. A day later, Iñaki and don Juan Carlos’s daughter met again, this time with their children, Pablo , Miguel and Irene . Together they enjoyed a beach day with maximum normality. A few days before, Iñaki and Ainhoa ​​themselves were hunted on a nudist beach , where they did not contain their passion.

Ayuso Leads The Creation Of Companies In Spain

The Community of Madrid has once again led the creation of companies in the month of June, according to the latest data from the National Statistics. Thus, the Madrid region has come to generate one out of every four companies in all of Spain, with 2,192, that is, 24.6% of the country’s total.

The increase with respect to those that were launched in May has been 12.8%, while the decline at the national level was 2.4%. Following Madrid are the autonomous communities of Catalonia (1,586 new firms) and Andalusia (1,538 companies).

It has been the National Institute of Statistics (INE) who has recently made these data public – sources from the Community of Madrid point out –, which reflect that the region also heads the ranking of subscribed capital , with 23.4%, and that it amounts to to 85.1 million euros. So far this year, the Community of Madrid has also become the number of companies incorporated as the subscribed capital, with 12,539 (22.8% of the total in Spain) and 882.9 million euros (33, 6%).

In quantitative terms, this means that an average of 69 have begun their journey daily. Catalonia (with 10,637) and Andalusia (9,543) occupy second and third place . In addition, the average capitalization of the companies in the region was 70,411 euros, compared to the 47,729 national average.

The numbers released by the INE maintain that the Community of Madrid comes to support the rest of the official indicators that position Madrid as the economic engine of the country, a leadership that contributes to its first position in state GDP, to which it contributes 19 ,3%.

Thus, the number of unemployed in July stood at 310,032, 25.4% less than in the last year, which was the largest drop in the historical series for this month.

On the other hand, Social Security affiliates reached 3,420,917, the third highest figure since records began. Otherwise, the Community is also the leader in foreign investment in 2021, with 73% of the Spanish total (21,260.8 million euros).

15% drop
In the month of July, but this time according to data from Informa D&B, the incorporation of companies fell by 15%, to 7,406 constitutions, its lowest level since October 2021.

Compared to June data, the fall in the constitution of companies amounts to 21%. In total, 62,888 companies have been incorporated in the first seven months of the year, 3% less than in the same period of the previous year.

The capital invested in the constitution of companies has also been reduced during this time. Between January and July, 2,915 million euros were allocated for this purpose, 13% less than in the first seven months of 2021.

In July alone, the capital for the incorporation of companies was 263 million euros, with a drop of 50% and the lowest amount recorded in 2022. In the seventh month of the year, the three companies incorporated with the highest investment were Dreamvest Iberia SL, which received 28 million euros, Maskomgroup SL, with 22 million euros, and Waecrest Capital SL, with 8 million euros, in positions created in July, occupied by women.

Spain Finances Half Of The Cancer Drugs Available In Europe

Access to new drugs is one of the points that generates the most tension in the health system. In the last four years, Spain has only financed 16 of the 39 cancer drugs authorized by the European Medicines Agency, 41% . In addition, it has only given its approval to 33% of the treatments dedicated to other diseases, according to the report “Financing of medicines: a challenge for the entire health system in Spain” by the consulting firm Iqvia.

The therapies available in Spain are those that have a lower cost compared to the others approved by Europe. During this period, 79.6% of the drugs approved by the agency applied for marketing in Spain and around 57 treatments received a positive price resolution .

The area of ​​oncology is the one that concentrates a greater number of pharmacological innovations, followed by infectious diseases and those related to the metabolic system.

However, Spain invests more in treatments in the Respiratory, Digestive and Musculoskeletal area . It has authorized half of those approved by the EMA. Therapies dedicated to ocular and endocrine or metabolic pathologies are those in which the least money is disbursed in terms of medicines.

If an X-ray is carried out by type of drug, Spain only financed 38% of the 50 orphan drugs approved in Europe, and they took an average of 23 months to market. It also covered 33% of the non-orphans who were delayed an average of 16.2 months. In reference to conditional approvals, of the 25 drugs approved by the EMA, only six (24%) received approval in Spain and it took 20.2 months for them to be marketed . Furthermore, of the non-conditional ones, 36% obtained financing from the CIMP and took 14.3 months.

Regarding hospital drugs and those sold in pharmacies on the street (also known as retail ), 47% of hospital drugs received the approval of the country of Spain and took 18.3 months . As for retail , only 26% were distributed in Spain and it took an average of 20.3 months.

“These data indicate that in retail products it is, or has been, more difficult to find an agreement between the laboratory and the administration,” the report indicates. “It should be noted that most of the products approved by the European Medicines Agency in this period in Spain are classified as hospital products,” he stresses.

On the other hand, there are differences between the Autonomous Communities in the time frame that a medicine takes from when it receives the green light by the AEMPS until it is available in the hospitals of said region .

Between 2017 and 2019, Catalonia was presented as the place where the least time is required for a health center to report consumption of the drug since its approval (17 months, that is, almost a year and a half). In other territories such as the Community of Madrid, Murcia or the Balearic Islands, sales were already reported at 18 and 19 months. In addition, the Basque Country, Navarra and La Rioja were the communities in which the most months passed, specifically, between 23 and 21 (almost two years) until sales were reported.

The reality that Spain presents is that there are delays in the times in which drugs are available to patients , especially when compared to other socioeconomic powers of the Old Continent. This coexists with a reduction in the number of products and indications that become part of the portfolio of medicines of the National Health System.

The reasons that have led to this situation , according to the Iqvia report, is the lack of transparency in the journey from commercialization until the product is available to patients. In addition, marketing authorization and funding have taken a back seat and “not everything that gets the go-ahead doesn’t have to be funded, especially in recent years.”

Also, there has been a mismatch between the evaluation models that have a more systematic approach, compared to the new products that come with a more targeted focus. On the other hand, some mechanism should be established that allows an accelerated process to facilitate an early arrival of all products that are considered to provide a differential value for patients.

Difficult End Of The Year In The Eurozone

The final data on the GDP of the eurozone between April and June surprised in the best way. Eurostat applies a very small cut (one tenth), on its preliminary calculation, to place the advance of the Monetary Union at 0.6% quarter-on-quarter.

This is a very remarkable development considering the period in which it occurred, with the Ukraine war already raging and legacy issues from 2021 (high inflation and supply chain disruptions) still playing out.

However, these circumstances are not enough to spur the optimism of the experts. On the contrary, analysts show great skepticism about the latest National Accounts data and the truth is that there are compelling reasons for this.

Everything points to a very conjunctural rebound in activity in the second quarter, derived from the expectations of the first summer in two years without Covid restrictions and very focused on the services sector.

Despite the strength of the GDP in the second quarter, the leading indicators point to a stagnation already in the summer

The best proof of this is the complete stagnation in which an economy as industrial and exporting as the German one is already mired. More important now are the indicators for the third quarter for economists and they throw bad news, at a community level, on multiple fronts.

It is enough to remember the setbacks shown, as of July, in consumer and investor confidence, activity in factories and even foreign trade (with a clear increase in the trade deficit). Everything points to a stagnation of GDP in the eurozone already underway this summer and, what is more worrying, paves the way for a contraction of the economy from autumn, fueled by the unstoppable rise of the CPI and the foreseeable energy rationing .