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Construction Slowdown? This Report Says It’s Already Here

Commercial building starts declined in February, and activity in the construction resale market continues to drop, according to EquipmentWatch.

Bradford Randall

April 13, 2023

1 Min Read
View Through Fence at Construction Site Rubble
Glasshouse Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Commercial building starts declined in February, according to the latest EquipmentWatch Monthly Report, which said data reveals that February marked the beginning of a slowdown in the construction industry.

The report cited data from the Dodge Construction Network, which also reported that institutional construction starts declined.

Usage rates for equipment declined, too, dropping 4.7% below February 2021 and 6.1% below February 2022, the report stated.

EquipmentWatch’s April report said persistently high costs for materials and equipment have been a main contributor to the slowdown in nonresidential construction spending.

While construction equipment resale activity continues to decline, activity on the equipment auction market rose sharply in February—an increase of more than 143% month over month.

As a snapshot of market conditions, activity in the resale market for track loaders, skid steers and compact excavators declined less than 1% month over month while activity for those types of equipment in the auction channel rose by more than 84%, according to EquipmentWatch.

“Average (fair market value) for compact track loaders, skid steer loaders and crawler mounted compact excavators rose by 9.9%, outpacing the construction equipment sector as a whole,” a key highlight from the report summarized.

The report highlighted what it called a “bright spot for buyers” as fair market values for equipment were flat month over month with a 0.8% decline.

According to EquipmentWatch’s Q2 Cost Recovery Report, the average operating cost for construction equipment has also decreased as gas and diesel prices continue to fall.

About the Author(s)

Bradford Randall

Former Associate Editor, WOC360

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