Momentum positive for nonresidential despite December 2021 dip

By |  January 7, 2022

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The Dodge Momentum Index fell 3 percent in December to 166.4, down from a revised November reading of 170.7.

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

In December, commercial planning fell 4 percent and institutional planning fell 1 percent. December represented the index’s second consecutive month of losses after hitting a 14-year high in October.

Despite the drops, Dodge says 2021 was a banner year for the momentum index. The year was a good one, Dodge says, despite the lingering risk of COVID-19 and low demand for some types of nonresidential buildings.

The momentum index increased 23 percent across 2021 – the strongest annual gain since 2005. Both the commercial and institutional components saw gains, with levels of activity reaching 13- and 14-year highs, respectively.

December specifics

A total of 21 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in December.

The leading commercial projects were the $300 million OKANA Resort in Oklahoma City and the $200 million Project Tarpon Amazon distribution center in Daytona Beach, Florida. The leading institutional projects were the $250 million University of Michigan Detroit Center for Innovation in Detroit and a $150 million laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The signals provided by the Dodge Momentum Index continue to suggest that construction activity will improve in 2022, Dodge says. More importantly, the firm says growth will be more balanced than what was seen in 2021.

Still, Dodge says the ever-present risks tied to the pandemic will continue to be headwinds against these trends, leading to moderate growth over the new year.

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About the Author:

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

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