China's tallest building, a new landmark which looms high above Shanghai, was meant to symbolize the emergence of modern China. But things have changed since its construction began in 2008.
The placing of the final beam of the Shanghai Tower on Saturday came as Chinese growth hits a rough patch. Economists have cut their forecasts after growth slowed to 7.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the first quarter.
One very simple theory could shed light on the outlook for the world's second-biggest economy: the Skyscraper Index.
"When you get too many skyscrapers, it's not the beginning of your cycle; it's kind of the end," Nick Carn, of Carn Macro Advisors told CNBC on Tuesday.
Barclays Capital's Skyscraper Index, which has been published regularly since 1999, shows there has historically been a correlation between construction booms - in particular when there are attempts to break new skyscraper heights - and the start of economic downturns.
(Read more: London's latest skyscraper space is half-booked)
The Skyscraper Index even argues that the higher the tower, the bigger the economic slump that follows. This is not a case of the bigger the better.
The index's claim is not welcome news for China. The Shanghai Tower will become the second-tallest building in the world once completed, its 630 meters surpassed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which is 829 meters tall.
However, construction has already started in a field in Changsha in China for a tower called Sky City, which is expected to rise to 838 meters, thus becoming the world's tallest skyscraper.