A Flock of Cranes!

The sight of cranes on the horizon are a sure sign of an improving economy. No, I’m not talking about the flying type of crane – I’m talking about the construction type of crane (tower cranes).


I was standing on my balcony looking across the Austin, Texas city skyline and I counted ELEVEN giant stationary tower cranes (not counting the smaller, portable cranes).  Though there were eleven cranes in my view, I’m well aware that there are also many more nearby that are located beyond the scope of what I can see from the vantage point of my balcony.  Standing there and looking out at these massive pieces of construction equipment, it suddenly struck me that the number of cranes in a city are a good indicator of the strength of the local economy.

I did a quick Google search and found that The National Journal recently reported that there are 37 construction projects currently in progress in Washington DC. The New Zealand Herald reported that two years ago there were no cranes in Wellington and today there are six major residential projects in the area (cranes included, of course). The Financial Times recently reported that over the last few years there has been more than one crane for every square kilometer in London!

Construction Cranes are an indicator that an area’s economy is thriving.  They are certainly an indicator of this in Austin which also remains #1 in job growth in the U.S. being the only city in the country with double digit job growth for several years in a row.

How many cranes do you see in your local area?  How does the number of cranes compare to the local economy?  I’m really interested in getting your feedback on this so please take a moment to leave your comments in the discussion forum below. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “A Flock of Cranes!

  1. Ivan,

    From this perspective, it was interesting to see the 11 cranes from our hotel room windows in Heidelberg this past week. Things are looking good there, too!

  2. Ivan, You are correct there is a lot of growth all around us in many areas. Just as there is a lot of people spending and buying goods and services. Sadly to many people are too involved in Group-think. The group-think for many is negative and powerless. So they are not stopping to see the opportunities all around them. I live in the Washington D.C. metro area and I see the growth all over the place in many areas and industries. Yet even with this growth many fail to open their eyes or ears. I hear them complaining about the construction but they do not take a moment to see the benefits or possibilities. I told a few people recently it is not that there is no money it is that you and your circle do have it or see it in front of you.

  3. Hi Ivan,
    I live in Central Florida and am amazed not only at the commercial buildings going up but the residential housing industry here is a booming success. After the craziness of the past economy it is so refreshing to see a big light at the end of that tunnel.

  4. Dear Ivan,

    Great indicator, and I agree completely.
    I live in Doha, Qatar and I have also noticed the incredible amount of cranes appearing all over the city lately. In the area where I live it seems every plot of land is being developed for something. Honestly, you’ll see cranes almost anywhere in Doha these days.
    Another growth indicator (according to me!) in Doha is the launch of BNI’s first chapter in Qatar, of which I am a part. We are very excited about it, and June 4 is our launch date! In case you are in the area…

  5. I used to live and work in the Principality of Andorra and witnessed an extraordinary building boom that quite literally transformed the landscape and I watched a “medieval” and stunningly beautiful country evolve into a modern and exciting place. At the time, I used to reflect with my colleagues and friends on the the number of cranes in our view and then …. the financial debacle in the ’90’s and post 2000, and the cranes virtually disappeared!

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