“China [Economy],” Ups and Downs, Monocle 52.6 (April 2012): 54.
For years economists have argued over whether China’s economy is headed for a soft or a hard landing. With Chinese officials themselves reportedly admitting that GDP figures are “manmade,” everything from sky-rocketing Lamborghini sales to tens of millions of empty luxury apartments has been called up as evidence of what is to come. A more reliable figure is sales in earthmovers, a statistic untainted by speculation, which predicts future investment in the construction and infrastructure sectors. Weak sales in 2011 led analysts Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins to predict that “a real estate price decline in 2012 poses substantial risks to GDP growth.”
For full text of the cited study, see Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “Digging In: Earthmover sales reflect risks to China’s economic growth,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 52 (17 January 2012).