Commercial building plans down in May

By |  June 7, 2012

The Dodge Momentum Index, which measures first-reported nonresidential building projects at the planning stage, slipped 1.2 percent from April to May. The index now sits at 93.6.

The decrease is the result of a divergent pattern for the two major segments of the index. A 1.5-percent gain for institutional building was outweighed by a 4.0-percent decline for commercial building. The institutional building portion of the index was aided by several large education projects that entered the planning pipeline last month, including a $300 million renovation to New York Public Library’s flagship building.

Last month’s Dodge Momentum Index decrease follows a 1.0-percent gain in April, when the index hit its highest level since August 2010. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, the decrease is a result of a still unsettled economic environment and the recent downward revisions to both gross domestic product and employment.

The index had been showing a gradual upward trend in recent months after bottoming out at 77.1 in July 2011. The index had risen in all but two months through April.

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