Home » Estimating » Construction Inflation Index Tables

Construction Inflation Index Tables

  • 10-24-16 Originally posted
  • 2-10-19 updated index tables and plots to include Q4 2018 data
  • 8-10-19 updated index tables and plots to include Q2 2019 data
  • 1-14-20 added index table from 2015-2023 to include Q4 2019 data
  • 1-26-21 updated index table from 2015-2023 including Q4 2020 data

This collection of Indices is published in conjunction with this linked commentary

See the article Construction Inflation 2020

1-27-21 See  2021 Construction Inflation


Construction Cost Indices come in many types: Final cost by specific building type; Final cost composite of buildings but still all within one major building sector; Final cost but across several major building sectors (ex., residential and nonresidential buildings); Input prices to subcontractors; Producer prices and Select market basket indices.

Residential, Nonresidential Buildings and Non-building Infrastructure Indices developed by Construction Analytics, (in highlighted BOLD CAPS in the tables below), are sector specific selling price composite indices. These three indices represent whole building final cost and are plotted in Building Cost Index  – Construction Inflation, see below, and also plotted in the attached Midyear report link. They represent average or weighted average of what is considered the most representative cost indicators in each major building sector. For Non-building Infrastructure, however, in most instances it is better to use a specific index to the type of work.

The following plots of Construction Analytics Building Cost Index are all the same data. Different time spans are presented for ease of use.

BCI 1967-2018 7-10-18

BCI 1992-2019 2-12-18

8-10-19 note: this 2005-2020 plot has been revised to include 2018-2020 update.

BCI 2005-2020 8-10-19

1-26-21  note: Latest plot below now 2005-2022 and revised to base 2019=100. Tables that accompany this chart are found at the end of this article.

BCI 2005-2022 1-26-2021

See the article Construction Inflation 2020

All actual index values have been recorded from the source and then converted to current year 2017 = 100. That puts all the indices on the same baseline and measures everything to a recent point in time, Midyear 2017.

All forward forecast values wherever not available are estimated and added by me.

Not all indices cover all years. For instance the PPI nonresidential buildings indices only go back to years 2004-2007, the years in which they were created. In most cases data is updated to include June 2019.

  • June 2017 data had significant changes in both PPI data and I H S data.
  • December 2017 data had dramatic changes in FHWA HiWay data.


When construction is very actively growing, total construction costs typically increase more rapidly than the net cost of labor and materials. In active markets overhead and profit margins increase in response to increased demand. When construction activity is declining, construction cost increases slow or may even turn to negative, due to reductions in overhead and profit margins, even though labor and material costs may still be increasing.

Selling Price, by definition whole building actual final cost, tracks the final cost of construction, which includes, in addition to costs of labor and materials and sales/use taxes, general contractor and sub-contractor overhead and profit. Selling price indices should be used to adjust project costs over time.

Here’s a LINK to a good article by Faithful & Gould that explains “If you want to avoid misusing a cost index, understand what it measures.” 

quoted from that article,


R S Means Index and ENR Building Cost Index (BCI) are examples of input indices. They do not measure the output price of the final cost of buildings. They measure the input prices paid by subcontractors for a fixed market basket of labor and materials used in constructing the building. ENR does not differentiate residential from nonresidential, however the index includes a quantity of steel so leans much more towards nonresidential buildings. RS Means is specifically nonresidential buildings only. These indices do not represent final cost so won’t be as accurate as selling price indices. RSMeans Cost Index Page RS Means subscription service provides historical cost indices for about 200 US and 10 Canadian cities. RSMeans 1960-2018 CANADA Keep in mind, neither of these indices include markup for competitive conditions. FYI, the RS Means Building Construction Cost Manual is an excellent resource to compare cost of construction between any two of hundreds of cities using location indices.

Notice in this plot how index growth is much less for ENR and RSMeans than for all other selling price final cost indices.

8-10-19 note: this 2010-2020 plot has been revised to include 2018-2020 update.

BCI 2010-2020 Firms 12-9-19

Turner Actual Cost Index nonresidential buildings only, final cost of building

Rider Levett Bucknall Actual Cost Index  published in the Quarterly Cost Reports found in RLB Publications  for nonresidential buildings only, represents final cost of building, selling price. Report includes cost index for 12 US cities and cost $/SF for various building types in those cities. Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington,DC. Also includes cost index for Calgary and Toronto. RLB also publishes cost information for select cities/countries around the world, accessed through RLB Publications.

Mortenson Cost Index is the estimated cost of a representative nonresidential building priced in seven major cities and average. Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Portland and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index only specific PPI building indices reflect final cost of building. PPI cost of materials is price at producer level. The PPIs that constitute Table 9 measure changes in net selling prices for materials and supplies typically sold to the construction sector. Specific Building PPI Indices are Final Demand or Selling Price indices.

PPI Materials and Supply Inputs to Construction Industries

PPI Nonresidential Building Construction Sector — Contractors

PPI Nonresidential Building Types

See this article by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Nonresidential building construction overhead and profit markups applied to select Nonres building types

PPI Materials Inputs and Final Cost Graphic Plots and Tables in this blog updated 2-10-19

PPI BONS Other Nonresidential Structures includes water and sewer lines and structures; oil and gas pipelines; power and communication lines and structures; highway, street, and bridge construction; and airport runway, dam, dock, tunnel, and flood control construction.

RS MEANS Key material cost updates quaterly

National Highway Construction Cost Index (NHCCI) final cost index, specific to highway and road work only.

The Bureau of Reclamation Construction Cost Trends comprehensive indexes for about 30 different types of infrastructure work including dams, pipelines, transmission lines, tunnels, roads and bridges. 1984 to present.

IHS Power Plant Cost Indices specific infrastructure only, final cost indices

  • IHS UCCI tracks construction of onshore, offshore, pipeline and LNG projects
  • IHS DCCI tracks construction of refining and petrochemical construction projects
  • IHS PCCI tracks construction of coal, gas, wind and nuclear power generation plants

S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index history final cost as-sold index but includes sale of both new and existing homes, so is an indicator of price movement but should not be used solely to adjust cost of new residential construction

US Census Constant Quality (Laspeyres) Price Index SF Houses Under Construction final cost index, this index adjusts to hold the build component quality and size of a new home constant from year to year to give a more accurate comparison of real residential construction cost inflation

Beck Biannual Cost Report develops indices for six major U.S. cities and Mexico, plus average. I did not see specifically if the index is or is not a composite of residential and nonresidential buildings. It can be used as an indicator of the direction of cost,  but may be better used in conjunction with other more specific sector selling price indices. Beck has not published index values since 2015. Read the report for the trend discussion. Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Tampa and Mexico

Other Indices not included here:

CoreLogic Home Price Index HPI for single-family detached or attached homes monthly 1976-2019. This is a new home and existing home sales price index.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by U.S. Gov. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services, including food, transportation, medical care, apparel, recreation, housing. This index in not related at all to construction and should not be used to adjust construction pricing.

Jones Lang LaSalle Construction Outlook Report National Construction Cost Index is the Engineering News Record Building Cost Index (ENRBCI), a previously discussed inputs index. The report provides some useful commentary.

Sierra West Construction Cost Index is identified as a selling price index but may be specific to California. This index may be a composite of several sectors. No online source of the index could be found, but it is published in Engineering News Record magazine in the quarterly cost report update.

Leland Saylor Cost Index  Clear definition of this index could not be found, however detailed input appears to represent buildings and does reference subcontractor pricing. But it could not be determined if this is a selling price index. A review of website info indicates almost all the work is performed in California, so this index may be regional to that area.  Updated Index Page

DGS California Construction Cost Index CCCI  The California Department of General Services CCCI is developed directly from ENR BCI.  The index is the average of the ENR BCI for Los Angeles and San Francisco, so serves neither region accurately. Based on a narrow market basket of goods and limited labor used in construction of nonresidential buildings, and based in part on national average pricing, it is an incomplete inputs index, not a final cost index.

Vermeulens Construction Cost Index can be found here. It is described as a bid price index, which is a selling price index, for Institutional/Commercial/Industrial projects. That would be a nonresidential buildings sector index. No data table is available, but a plot of the VCCI is available on the website. Some interpolation would be required to capture precise annual values from the plot. The site provides good information.

Colorado DOT Construction Cost Index 2002-2019 Trade bids for various components of work published by Colorado Dept of Transportation including earthwork, paving and structural concrete.

Washington State DOT Construction Cost Index CCI for individual components or materials of highway/bridge projects 1990-2016

Minnesota DOT Highway Construction Cost Index for individual components of highway/bridge projects 1987-2016

Iowa DOT Highway Cost Index for individual components of highway/bridge projects 1986-2019

New Hampshire DOT Highway Cost Index 2009-2019 materials price graphs and comparison to Federal Highway Index.

New York Building Congress New York City Construction Costs compared to other US and International cities

U S Army Civil Works Construction Cost Index CWCCIS individual indices for 20 public works type projects from 1980 to 2050. Also includes State indices from 2004-2019

Eurostat Statistics – Construction Cost Indices 2005-2017 for European Countries

Comparative International Cities Costs – This is a comparative cost index comparing the cost to build in 40 world-wide cities  If this International Cities Costs is a parity index, which involves correcting for difference in currency, then you must know the parity city in each country, which in the US I think is Chicago.

OECD International Purchasing Power Parity Index

Turner And Townsend International Construction Markets 2016-2017

Turner And Townsend International Construction Markets 2018

Rider Levitt Bucknall Caribbean Report 2018

US Historical Construction Cost Indices 1800s to 1957

Click Here for Link to Construction Cost Inflation – Commentary

2-12-18 – Index update includes revisions to historic Infrastructure data

8-10-19 Note: updated index tables to include Q2 2019 data

Index Table 1991 to 2000 updated 8-10-19

Index Table 2001 to 2010 updated 8-10-19

Index Table 2011 to 2020 updated 8-10-19

1-26-21    The tables below, from 2011 to 2020 and from 2015 thru 2023, updates 2020 data and provides 2021-2023 forecast.

NOTE, these tables are based on 2019=100. Nonresidential inflation, after hitting 5% in both 2018 and 2019, and after holding above 4% for the six years 2014-2019, is forecast to increase only 2.5% in 2020, but then 3.8% in 2021 and hold near that level the next few years. Forecast residential inflation for the next three years is level at 3.8%. It was only 3.6% for 2019 but averaged 5.5%/yr since 2013 and returned to 5.1% in 2020. 

BCI 2005-2022 1-26-2021

Index Table 2011 to 2020 updated 1-26-21

Index Table 2015 to 2023 updated 1-26-21

How to use an index: Indexes are used to adjust costs over time for the affects of inflation. To move cost from some point in time to some other point in time, divide Index for year you want to move to by Index for year you want to move cost from. Example : What is cost inflation for a building with a midpoint in 2022, for a similar nonresidential building whose midpoint of construction was 2016? Divide Index for 2022 by index for 2016 = 110.4/87.0 =  1.27. Cost of building with midpoint in 2016 x 1.27 = cost of same building with midpoint in 2022. Costs should be moved from/to midpoint of construction. Indices posted here are at middle of year and can be interpolated between to get any other point in time.

All forward forecast values, whenever not available, are estimated by Construction Analytics.

See the article Construction Inflation 2020

See also Initial Outlook for Construction Inflation Leading into 2021

1-27-21 See  2021 Construction Inflation


  1. edzarenski says:

    Yes, but it will take some time to see the impact. Watch the 2021 Inflation article for latest info.


  2. Caroline Walker says:

    Hi Ed, thank you for Construction Analytics’ Construction Inflation Index Tables and Charts. Are you going to factor into your inflation forecasts the effects of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill if the bill becomes law?


  3. Samuel Taiwo says:

    I love your write up. Very interesting and informative


  4. Michael Friedman says:

    This is great data. It would be really nice if you had a link to the Excel or a Google Sheet or something with the data.


  5. […] The historical cost indices used in this study measure input prices paid by builders for a fixed market basket of labor and materials used in the construction of a number of building types which the producers of R.S. Means deem representative….this study takes the (R.S.Means) historical cost indices at face value….For a variety of alternative sources of construction cost data, see Ed Zarenski’s blog post entitled “Construction Inflation Index Tables”. […]


  6. edzarenski says:

    I replaced the table of values, but I see not difference in the resolution. Just a note, but I can open this table on my phone or tablet and the resolution is excellent, actually better than on my computer. My apologies if the resolution is not working for you. edz

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wee says:

    Hi Ed Zarenski, Thank you so much for these great information. It’s very helpful. However, I had a problem in opening a larger index table. After using the right click as instructed, I still saw the same image as shown on this page. It’s still hard to read. Please advise. Thank you.


  8. Hi, Ed – the resolution on the image of the spreadsheet of indices is too low to make the data legible. Thanks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Construction Analytics on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 369 other followers


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: