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Dodge Momentum Index down again in August 2021

By |  September 9, 2021

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The Dodge Momentum Index fell to 148.7 in August, down 3 percent from the revised July reading of 154.

The momentum index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

Losses similarly continued in the commercial planning component (down 2 percent) and in institutional planning (down 6 percent).

Since the most recent high in May (175.1), the momentum index is down a total of 14 percent, with the commercial component having an overall loss of 10 percent and the institutional component down 22 percent.

These losses were caused, in part, by increasing prices for materials used in nonresidential buildings, labor shortages and an increase in new COVID-19 delta variant cases, according to Dodge Data.

Positive developments

Despite this, Dodge Data says there were some strong areas in August, specifically data center, education and warehouse projects that moved into planning. Additionally, the momentum index remains 19 percent higher than it was a year ago, with institutional planning (up 17 percent) and commercial planning (up 20 percent) also higher than last August.

A total of 21 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning this August. The leading commercial projects were a pair of $165 million Google data centers in New Albany, Ohio, and Lancaster, Ohio. The leading institutional projects were the $158 million Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and the $140 million Apex Outpatient Center in Cleveland.

Dodge Data says that it is still too early to call these losses a retreatment or a new cyclical downturn. While demand for nonresidential buildings remains weak, the recent increase in COVID-19 cases should not cause the same amount of disruption as previous waves did, the firm says.

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor for Pit & Quarry and Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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