2020 was a better year for construction than for many other industries, according to the latest Global Construction 2030 report. The volume of global construction output declined by only around 2% in 2020, less than half the rate of decline in the world economy. Construction was categorized as an essential industry in most countries, enabling it to continue working during lockdowns. Also, “work at home” orders encouraged people to invest more in their own houses.
Amongst the 90 countries included in the report, 16 had a double-digit percentage decline in their construction volumes in 2020, with Panama (-30%), Singapore (-25%), and the Philippines (-22%) suffering the largest falls. Only Saudi Arabia (+15%) had a double-digit percentage increase.
Construction is likely to underperform the global economy in future years, particularly as it’s more impacted by stretched public finances, despite many countries announcing increased infrastructure investment.
During the next two years, as the world recovers from COVID, expect construction volumes globally increase by an average of 3.2% a year, with double-digit percentage increases in seven countries and declines in only three countries in Europe.
Over the longer-term (2023 to 2030), Global Construction Perspectives forecasts that the volume of construction output will increase by an average of 2.3% a year globally, with annual growth rates varying between a decline in Japan (-0.5% p.a.) to increases exceeding 8% a year in Tanzania (+8.4% p.a.), Ethiopia (+8.4% p.a.) and Bangladesh (+8.0% p.a.).
Global Construction Perspectives estimates that the value of global construction output in US$ at constant exchange rates and in 2020 prices will increase from $11.6 trillion in 2020 to around $14.8 trillion in 2030, a growth rate averaging 2.5% a year. China is expected to remain the largest construction market globally but to decline in importance from 32.0% of the global total in 2020 to 29.2% in 2030. Japan is expected to contribute to the total decline from 7.0% in 2020 to 5.4% in 2030 when India is expected to overtake it as it becomes the third largest construction market globally. Indonesia is expected to surpass France and Australia to become the sixth-largest construction market in 2030, with France dropping from the sixth-largest in 2020 to the eighth largest in 2030.
Around 43 million new homes will be required each year globally between 2020 and 2030, with 11 million of these being in India, 7 million in China, 2m in Nigeria, and 1.5 million in the US. Brazil, Pakistan, and Indonesia are also each expected to require more than a million new homes every year.