Lighting and the economy 2
Singapore, 13th May 2010
Lighting is somehow linked to a countries economy did you realize that? Today I read in the newspaper that last month saw a record surge in the use of power (in Singapore). Though it was a sizzling hot month and obviously households guzzled more power for their air-conditioning and electric fans, one of the reasons mentioned weas a hot economy…in other words because of the economic recovery people were less worried about their energy bill.
Isn’t it “interesting” to see that when you have lesser money worries you are also becoming less frantic about switching off lights to safe energy (and costs)? People may also replace that broken light bulb faster or decide to buy that extra spotlight or table lamp they had wanted for so long. But with an improving economy generally oil prices will go up and as a result electricity tariffs which are pegged to it. Lighting your house becomes thus more expensive again. That is on a consumer scale.
On a grander development scale we have seen a resurrection of projects in this region. Hence an increase demand for lighting design consultancy. While previously mainly China and India were the drivers for the project business, we see the re-emergence of other Asian countries like Vietnam for instance, launching new project developments courtesy of the economic recovery.
In China however there is a fear of an overheating economy. While the economic growth dipped to around 6% (!) during the crisis it is back up in the double digits again. To combat this, the Chinese government recently introduced new regulations in the property market to quell speculations and make life for speculative investors more difficult. Buying a second property now requires a much bigger cash payment upfront with some loans restricted to about 50% of the purchase price only.
As many developers in China come out of the residential property sector it is expected that these regulations will affect their cash flow and thus the construction boom. Will see how that pens out….