NEW YORK – February 5, 2016 – The Dodge Momentum Index rose 2.4% in January to 126.4 (2000=100) from its December reading of 123.4. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The increase in January was the result of a 3.3% increase in institutional projects, and a 1.6% increase in commercial projects. On a year-over-year basis, the overall Index is 1.7% higher even though the commercial portion is down 6.8%. Commercial planning intentions started 2015 on an aggressive note before settling back by mid-year. Over the most recent few months commercial planning has been following a saw tooth pattern, but the overall trend has been positive as most commercial real estate fundamentals are improving. The institutional index on the other hand started 2015 on a weak note, but improved throughout the year and is now 14.0% higher than one year ago.
In January, 10 projects entered planning with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $270 million convention center hotel in San Diego CA and a $140 million office and retail building in Atlanta, GA. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $160 million renovation and addition at a USDA lab in Athens GA and a $150 million hospital expansion in Corpus Christi TX.
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