Institutional building increase boosts Dodge Momentum Index

By |  December 10, 2012

The Dodge Momentum Index, the monthly measure of the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning, held steady in November, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. The index registered a 92.5 in November – an increase relative to October’s revised 92.0.

The modest gain in the November index was the result of an increase for institutional building, which grew by 1.7 percent in November. The education component of the index was a bit stronger in November, although it’s likely to settle back in the coming months as budget constraints linger.

The increase in institutional building plans was partially offset by a decline in the commercial component of the index, which in November eased 0.6 percent from October. New development plans for office projects slipped in November, although new plans for store projects rose modestly over the month.

After reaching a low point in mid-2011, McGraw-Hill Construction says the Dodge Momentum Index’s turnaround has been a slow and hesitant one, with monthly upward movement often followed by a decline. A recovery in future development plans, particularly for commercial building, has been hampered by the business sector’s anxiety about future economic conditions. Meanwhile, continued tight fiscal conditions at all levels of government have led to an uneven pattern for the institutional side of the index.

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