Dodge Momentum Index Increases in February
The Dodge Momentum
Index rose 1.6% in February to 144.0 (2000=100) from its revised
January reading of 141.7. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure
of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building
projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction
spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. February's
increase was due to a 4.4% jump in institutional planning, while
commercial planning slipped slightly, falling 0.3% for the month.
The Momentum Index has now increased for five consecutive months;
however, the underlying components continue to be volatile on a
month-to-month basis as large projects continue to sway the data.
The overall trend, however, is rising. On a year-over-year basis
the Momentum Index is 22% higher, with commercial planning up 28%
and institutional planning moving 15% ahead of last year. This
suggests that construction activity will continue to see further
growth as the year progresses.
In February, four projects entered
planning each with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the
institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $100
million hospital in Westampton, NJ, and a $100 million military
barracks in Great Lakes, IL. The leading commercial projects were a
$470 million hotel in Nashville, TN, and a $130 million hotel and
shopping center in La Puente, CA.