Research Briefing | May 22, 2024

Key Global Construction Themes 2024

Global construction activity is forecast to fall over 2024. In this context, we have identified 6 themes that we think will dominate the narrative of the construction sector over 2024. The key reason for the resilience in our outlook remains the significant backlog of work that developed during the coronavirus pandemic, and the ongoing capacity challenges slowing the delivery of this work. The covid pandemic and policy responses drove a significant upswing in demand for buildings, particularly for single-family residential dwellings, which coincided with supply chain disruptions and labour market restrictions.

Download the research report for our detailed analysis on these 6 key themes shaping the Global Construction sector in 2024:

  • Building construction activity will fall further. Aggressive policy tightening by central banks has lifted financing costs and reduced demand for new buildings. While activity is falling, a sizeable backlog of work will ensure construction work does not fall as much as we would typically expect given the financing shock.

  • Infrastructure stimulus will continue to drive growth in civil engineering. Civil engineering will continue to grow over 2024 as governments generally remain committed to their infrastructure investment plans.

  • Construction cost growth will slow and rebase at a higher level. Structural hikes in the costs of producing and shipping materials are expected to see construction costs rebase at a higher level.

  • Chinese real estate commencements will rebound. Chinese real estate commencements appear to have reversed their downward trend. We expect this to continue in 2024.

  • Construction labour markets will remain tight in advanced economies. While the normalisation of international travel has improved labour shortages in some countries, shortages risk becoming much more structural in advanced economies.

  • Work towards a more sustainable future will remain steady. The global push towards a less carbon intensive future is continuing to support construction activity around the world. We continue to believe the net-zero transition will drive a more significant upswing in activity later in the decade.
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