Dodge Momentum Index Moves Higher in October

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 6.9% in October to 152.6 (the year 2000 = 100) from the revised September reading of 142.7. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, 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.

October’s increase was due entirely to a recovery in institutional planning projects, which had stepped back over the previous few months. Institutional planning moved 22.8% higher in the month while commercial planning lost 0.5%.

Despite the October increase, institutional projects entering planning remain 4.3% lower on a year-over-year basis compared to October 2018. Commercial projects meanwhile are 14.3% higher than October 2018 as several mega projects have entered the early stages of planning over the last several months. The overall Momentum Index is 6.7% higher than a year ago, although its level remains below the July 2018 peak.

In October, 24 projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning. The leading institutional projects were the $470 million Orlando Health Hospital in Lake Mary, Fla., and a $356 million renovation project at the Rockrimmon Elementary School in Colorado Springs, Colo. The leading commercial projects were a $250 million office building in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the $188 million Spirit Airlines Headquarters in Dania Beach, Fla.