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Unit 2 Macro: Look Upwards to Find the next Downturn

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation but analysts at Barclays Capital are worried that a surge in skyscraper construction in China and India might be a forward indicator of another burst of financial and economic distress. This report in the Independent covers their findings:

“Clusters of building activity usually coincide with periods of easy credit, excessive optimism and rising land prices, which often occur before market corrections.”

* India is scheduled to complete 14 new skyscrapers taller than 240 meters (787 feet) over the next five years from the current two
* China will increase the number of skyscrapers to 141, from the current 75, by 2017
* London’s Shard is expected to be completed in 2012 – at 1,017ft, it will be the tallest building in Western Europe

News video from the BBC: Skyscrapers ‘linked with impending financial crashes’

Guardian news video: Huaxi: the village that towers above China

 

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Economics