According to the Catalan Meteorological Office, a wave of hot air arriving from the north of Africa will cause temperatures to soar here over the next few days and into the weekend (article in Catalan, Avui). It's predicted that the temperature could get as high as 38 degrees in Catalunya and that it won't dip below 22, even at night. Inland areas will be more affected than coastal regions by the heatwave, which will stay cooler because of fresher air coming off the sea. However, there will be a notable feeling of xafagor, ie. oppressive weather, and Barcelona is due to see highs of 33 degrees.
The Bank of Spain has confirmed it will work with the savings banks, Caixa Sabadell, Caixa Terrassa and Caixa Manlleu, in their move to merge (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). The proposal for the three Catalan financial entities to come together is a result of the difficulties being faced in the banking sector due to the current global crisis; three other Catalan caixes (Caixa Pendedès, Caixa Manresa and Caixa Laietana) are also said to be studying the possibility of merger. The directors of Sabadell, Terrassa and Manlleu met with officials from the Bank of Spain yesterday to discuss the fusion process.
Summer sales start today across Spain (article in Castilian, El Periodico), and businesses are hoping for a boom time between now and the end of August, when the sales period will end; indeed, it could account for up to 30 percent of shop's turnover for 2009, compared to 15 to 20 percent in a normal year. The indications are that the discounts will be significant from the off, with goods already being reduced by up to 50 percent on the original price, which could rise to 70 percent in the coming weeks. Although shops have less stock because they brought in less due to the crisis, they have seen consumers purchasing less in recent months, and there is a significant number of shops who will see these summer sales as their 'last-chance' for survival, according to industry voices.