The Skyscraper Index: the perfect vantage or a tall tale?

We recently refuted the theory that record-breaking art auctions could predictive of imminent market bubbles. However, there are still several indicators of overconfidence that many believe to possess value.

Pioneered by Andrew Lawrence in 1999, we discuss the Skyscraper Index – the principle that the world’s tallest buildings are often completed on or around the precipice of economic downturns, making it a useful leading macroeconomic indicator. We also examine whether there is any merit to construction activity data, in general, being an indicator of economic growth, whilst highlighting a few relevant alternative data sources for readers interested in incorporating such data into their decision-making processes.

A worker constructing the Empire State Building in 1930, overlooking the Chrysler Building in the background

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Chashaka Wimalaweera Analyst (Asia)