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Dodge Momentum Index loses steam in June 2021

By |  July 8, 2021

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The Dodge Momentum Index, following six months of consecutive gains, fell to 165.8 in June, a mark that is down 5 percent from a May reading of 175.1.

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, the firm says.

The decline in June was the result of losses in both institutional planning, which fell 7 percent, and commercial planning, which lost 4 percent.

According to Dodge Data, uncertain demand for some building types, higher material prices and continued labor shortages are weighing down new project planning. Even with June’s decline, however, the momentum index remains near a 13-year high and well above last year.

Compared to a year earlier, both commercial and institutional planning were significantly higher than in June 2020 (39 percent and 46 percent higher, respectively). Overall, the momentum index was 41 percent higher.

A total of 13 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in June, Dodge Data says. The leading commercial projects were a $194 million data center in Dulles, Virginia, and the $109 million FedEx warehouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The leading institutional projects were the $300 million Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center replacement in Sitka, Alaska, and the $200 million renovation of the New York Public Library SNFL Branch in New York.

June’s retreat in planning activity is another sign that the recovery from the pandemic-led recession will be nonlinear, Dodge Data says. The current level of the momentum index and its underlying components, however, continue to signal that a more broad-based recovery in nonresidential construction starts will occur in 2022.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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