Crane count reports decrease from previous edition

Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its latest Crane Index and Quarterly Cost Report which reveals a continued downward trend in cranes counts.

International property and construction consultancy firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its latest Crane Index and Quarterly Cost Report. Together, the two documents provide an eye-opening perspective on the North American construction industry in 14 key markets.

According to the Crane Index, the beginning of 2024 has shown a continued downward trend in cranes counts, as many projects approach completion at a slower rate than new projects are breaking ground. The report noted that the majority of the cranes continue to be stationed at residential or mixed-use projects, making up 73 per cent of the overall count.

This reports revealed a decrease of 9 per cent from the Q3 2023 edition of the RLB Crane Index. It noted that cranes are down 18 per cent from the same time last year and of the fourteen cities surveyed: seven experienced a decrease of greater than 20 per cent; three increased; and four held steady.

Despite the continued downturn in cranes, RLB noted that they remain cautiously optimistic. They predict that ongoing investment in manufacturing and infrastructure will help offset any decline in privately funded projects in 2024. According to RLB, overall, construction spending will be driven by public funding for manufacturing and infrastructure projects.

Image credit: RLB

Crane Index notes:

  • Calgary, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles have seen an increase in crane counts
  • Honolulu, Phoenix, Seattle, and Toronto are holding steady in their crane counts
  • Cities with a decrease of more than 20 per cent include Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York City, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC

Quarterly Cost Report notes:

  • The U.S. quarterly national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.29 per cent, compared to 5.85 per cent year-over-year
  • The construction unemployment rate is holding steady at 4.4 per cent as compared to the same period last year
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) in February was 49.5, suggesting that the recent slowdown may be receding and up from the previous month’s score of 46.2
Image credit: RLB
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