The Dodge Momentum Index rose 6.9 percent in October to 152.6 from the revised September reading of 142.7 (year 2000=100). The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first reports for U.S. nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.
October’s increase was largely to a recovery in institutional planning projects, which had stepped back over the previous few months. Institutional planning moved 22.8 percent higher in the month while commercial planning lost 0.5 percent.
Despite the October increase, institutional projects entering planning remain 4.3 percent lower than they were a year earlier. In contrast, commercial projects are 14.3 percent higher than October 2018 as several megaprojects have entered the early stages of planning over the past several months. The overall Momentum Index is 6.7 percent higher than a year ago, although its level remains below the July 2018 peak.
According to Dodge Data and Analytics, 24 projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning last month. The leading institutional projects were the $470 million Orlando Health Hospital in Lake Mary, Florida, and a $356 million renovation project at the Rockrimmon Elementary School in Colorado Springs. The leading commercial projects were a $250 million office building in Brooklyn, New York, and the $188 million Spirit Airlines headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida.