PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 19, 2022) — The latest Crane Index and Quarterly Cost Report (QCR) was released by Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), an independent global construction and property consultancy providing management and advice throughout the built environment. Together, the two documents provide an on-the-ground picture of construction activity in 14 key North American markets and data-driven insights into the industry.
While the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant is subsiding, pandemic-induced problems remain. Supply chain issues continue to plague all levels of the construction industry, from raw materials to finished products, as pent-up demand for building supplies grows. A spike in fuel prices and a shortage of truck drivers are still slowing overland transit of goods, a condition exacerbated by lack of warehouse space.
Significant recent events — the Russia-Ukraine war and inflation — are now compounding the current picture. The conflict in eastern Europe is likely to affect costs and availability of some key materials; Russia is a major producer of copper and aluminum. Inflation is on the rise, pushing prices across the board higher.
“It’s a complicated situation,” said Julian Anderson, FRICS, President of RLB North America. “While the bipartisan passage of the $110 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a major step forward, it remains to be seen how inflation will affect its implementation.”
Crane Index notes:
- Cities seeing an increase in cranes include Chicago, Denver, New York, San Francisco and Toronto
- Cities holding steady in their crane counts include Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix
- Cities with a decrease in cranes include Boston, Calgary, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
- The top three sectors for cranes are residential, mixed-use and commercial
Quarterly Cost Report notes:
- The U.S. quarterly national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.58%, compared to 8.04% year-over-year
- The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 7.0%
- The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) was unchanged from the previous month’s 51.0 (This option if want to refer monthly)