Dodge Momentum Index up in April 2021

By |  May 10, 2021

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The Dodge Momentum Index posted an 8.6 percent gain in April, climbing to 162.4 from a revised March reading of 149.5.

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.

April’s gain marks the fifth consecutive monthly increase and, similar to February and March, was due to a large increase in institutional buildings entering the planning stage. Commercial planning eased by less than 1 percent, Dodge Data says.

Since hitting its nine-year low in January, institutional planning has rebounded substantially – climbing 77 percent over the last three months, according to Dodge Data. Health care and laboratory projects continue to dominate the sector, pushing institutional planning 50 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.

Conversely, the commercial component slipped in recent months, as fewer warehouse projects have entered planning – though the sector is 21 percent higher than last April.

Overall, the momentum index is 31 percent higher than last April, which was the first full month of COVID-19 shutdowns.

Thirteen projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning this April. The leading commercial projects were a $400 million mixed-use office project in San Francisco and a $250 million warehouse project in Mesa, Arizona. The leading institutional projects were the $300 million first phase of The Cove JC laboratory and education facility in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a $175 million laboratory project in Boston.

According to Dodge Data, April’s data highlights the nascent recovery underway in institutional building. But given the average length of time between planning and project start, the firm says this rise likely won’t impact construction starts until late 2021 or early 2022.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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