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A general view of the sunset over the New York City skyline. Structures, such as the Empire State Building, are often finished such as financial hard times set in for a country. - 

GDP, trade, manufacturing, employment -- all good ways to find out how one country's economy stacks up against another.

Well, there may be a better way to size up country's economy: Skyscrapers.

Turns out there's a direct correlation between who's building the world's next tallest building and who's facing the next major economic collapse -- that's according to a new report by Barclays Capital.

In today's Mid-day Extra, we look at how tall buildings can predict a country's economic future.

We spoke with Andrew Lawrence of Barclays Capital, who wrote the report. It is based on a kind of skyscraper index, that analyzes the connection over the last 150 years between skyscraper construction and periods of economic crisis.

According to him though, skyscrapers remain an important symbol of capitalism, and he doesn't see countries cutting back on tower building any time soon.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson