Momentum Index Improves in July Thanks to Increase in Nonresidential Projects

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) increased 2.9% to 178.7 in July thanks to an increase in data center, office and warehouse projects, says the Dodge Construction Network.

The DMI is a monthly measure for nonresidential building projects in planning. According to the Dodge Construction Network, the DMI is shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. In July, the commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 5.5%, while the institutional component fell 2.0%.

“The Momentum Index has yet to show signs of stress as recession fears mount,” says Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “This shows that developers and owners remain confident that nonresidential building projects will weather the storm of higher interest rates and a slowing economy. Whether this can be sustained over the medium term remains a key question that will ultimately dictate the pattern for construction starts in 2023.”

Fourteen projects in July were either planned or entered planning with a value of more than $100 million.

This includes the $300 million Schnitzer Industrial Park in Sacramento, Calif., the $275 million Parteere 42 mixed-use complex in Miami, Fla., and the $180 million Edgecore Data Center in Sterling, Va. The leading institutional projects were the $500 million Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., a $157 million life sciences building in San Francisco, Calif., and the $150 million Cal Poly Humboldt Craftman’s student housing project in Arcata, Calif.