Dodge Momentum Index shows second consecutive rise

By |  September 11, 2020

Dodge Data & Analytics reported the second consecutive monthly rise in its Momentum Index, a sign that the construction sector is continuing to recover from declines in April and June.


Chart: Dodge Data & Analytics. Click to enlarge.


Chart: Dodge Data & Analytics. Click to enlarge.

The Dodge Momentum Index showed a 1.8 percent increase in August, rising from 124.2 in July to 126.5 in August.

The index 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.

Though the construction sector shows a modest recovery following the large declines in April and June, its recovery is uneven, according to Dodge. In August, the institutional component of the index declined 1.2 percent and the commercial component rose 3.3 percent.

Fueled by warehouse and office project activity, the commercial component rose 9 percent from its June low, and is 13 percent below its peak in 2018. On the other hand, the institutional component has declined for five consecutive months and is now 34 percent below its recent peak.

The public building market is suffering from a decline in state and local government revenues due to budget cuts. Education projects have experienced a significant pullback, contributing to the downward pressure of the institutional component.

In August, 11 projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning, according Dodge.

A $262 million UPS distribution facility in Mebane, North Carolina and a $200 million Amazon distribution center in San Antonio, Texas were among the leading commercial projects. The leading institutional projects included BayCare South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City, Florida at $150 million and the second phase of the Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York at $125 million.

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