NOTE: The below originally appeared as the editorial in our February 19 One Minute Week newsletter. To find out more, and sign up for free, please click here.
Four might not seem like a significant number, but in east Asia it is seen as very unlucky.
In Pinyin, the recognised system of Mandarin Romanisation, the word for four is sì and the word for death is sǐ. Both words sounds very similar, the only difference being the tone used the final pronunciation.
Because it is seen as an unlucky number, you will often find it omitted in east Asia. In south Korea there are a lot of high-rise buildings without a fourth floor, and in Beijing they have stopped issuing car licence plates that include the number four.
It is also unlucky as it is the difference in business jet deliveries between 2015 and 2014.
Four still might not seem that significant, but it is what it represents that is very significant. It means that the number of deliveries increased for just two years, and now we have begun to slide back downwards again.
This is problematic as many people believe that 2016 is going to be a very tough year.
Deliveries throughout the year are often boosted by the new aircraft effect (the initial delivery push of a new aircraft type). Last year there were four new aircraft types delivered. This year there will be just one.
It is a brave call to claim that we are heading into a downturn. But it is an even braver call to argue that we aren’t.
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