Architectural Billings Index Showing Declining Projects

The chart shows a comparative map of the annual percentage change for the U.S. Credit: RLB

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

With current data from mid-Q4 2023, the latest RLB quarterly cost report shows that the national average increase in construction costs was 1.32 percent over the previous quarter, with Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Portland, Seattle, and Washington D.C. experiencing increases over the national average this quarter. Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco experienced gains that were less than the national average.

“While there are a lot of positive indicators for the industry right now, including consumer confidence, moderating inflation, and low unemployment, there are still enough other indicators showing us that the economic uncertainty hasn’t become any clearer,” says Paul Brussow, president of RLB North America. “The newest numbers on the ABI, the chronic workforce challenges, and potential soft recession still feed the uncertainty and a potential slowdown for 2024.”

Quarterly Cost Report notes

·       The U.S. quarterly national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.53 percent and 5.28 percent year-over-year  

·       The construction unemployment rate is up slightly to 3.8 percent from 3.4 percent in the same time period last year

·       The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is 44.3, the third month in a row of significant decreases  

Read the complete QCR Q4 2023 report here.

Rider Levett Bucknall is an award-winning international firm known for providing project management, construction cost consulting, and related property and construction advisory services — at all stages of the design and construction process. Rider Levett Bucknall’s North American practice has offices in 21 cities across North America. With more than 4,300 employees worldwide, Rider Levett Bucknall brings unparalleled value and service to its prestigious group of clients through its robust experience and high-level expertise. The firm enjoys a professional heritage that spans over 235 years, and it continues to be a global leader in the construction industry throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania.

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