Dodge Momentum Index slips further in March

By |  April 7, 2014

The Dodge Momentum Index measuring the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning retreated 0.8 percent in March compared with February, according to McGraw Hill Construction. The March index is at 113.8 – down from a revised 114.8 in February and 118.3 in January.

McGraw Hill Construction says uncertainty, perhaps related to weak employment growth at the start of the year, is the likely contributor to this short-term unease. Uncertainty weighed on both the commercial and institutional sides of the index in March, the firm says.

New plans for commercial buildings fell 1.0 percent, as declines for offices and hotels offset an increase for retail buildings. Despite the pullback for offices, the most significant commercial building to enter the planning pipeline in March was a $250 million office building in Texas.

New plans for institutional buildings dropped 0.7 percent in March. A decline in the volume of education projects was partially offset by the inclusion of two large amusement and health care-related developments – the $300 million E23 Casino and Hotel proposed in Albany, N.Y., and the $250 million Women and Children’s Hospital slated for Lakeland, Fla.

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