The outlook for all three of the above is generally more favorable in developing countries relative to developed countries. Besides stronger economic growth in the former, other factors promoting rapid construction sector growth in the developing world include faster population growth, faster rates of urbanization due to large rural populations, weak existing nonbuilding infrastructure and insufficient existing building stocks.

Over the past several decades, while most developing countries have seen healthy growth in construction spending, China and the Middle East (especially Dubai) have seen particularly strong expansions. In fact much of the Middle East can no longer be classified as “developing”. Future growth in China’s construction sector will slow down significantly, but continue to outpace the global average in the near term. In the Middle East, oil and gas wealth is allowing other cities besides Dubai (e.g., Abu Dhabi and Doha) to invest heavily in new construction activity.

It is likely that India and sub-Saharan Africa will see strongest growth prospects in the next decade based on their very low existing per capita construction spending totals as well as rapid urbanization rates of their massive rural populations. Both will likely see major improvements in currently highly convoluted and corrupt government bureaucracies, with regulations and ease of doing business drastically improving and thereby enabling a jump in foreign investment.