The Dodge Momentum Index inched up 0.3 percent in November to 133.2 from its October reading of 132.7, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The index has now posted increases in ten of the last 12 months, and stands 18 percent higher than its November 2015 reading.
This suggests construction activity should continue to strengthen in 2017.
The Momentum Index 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 uptick for November’s mark was due to a 4.1-percent rise in the commercial building component, while the institutional component slipped 5.2 percent in the month.
Institutional planning had shown strength earlier in 2016, but has since receded, and is now 2 percent lower than last year. Commercial planning, on the other hand, had a weak start to the year but has since advanced and is now 35 percent above last year.
In November, seven projects with a value that exceeded $100 million entered planning. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $400 million office building in Chicago and a $180 million expansion and renovation of a hotel in New York City. The leading institutional projects were a $155 million hospital in Rochester, N.Y., and a $100 million hospital and research lab in Bethesda, Md.