Dodge Momentum Index Moves Lower in August

The Dodge Momentum Index dropped 1.3% from July to August to 137.8 (the year 2000 = 100) from the revised August reading of 139.6. The momentum index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning. The drop in September was the result of a 16.6% decline in the institutional component, offsetting a 9.1% gain in the commercial component.

On a year-over-year basis, the overall momentum index is 10.3% below August 2018, suggesting that construction spending will be settling back as the year progresses. However, most of the decline occurred in 2018 – the momentum index has lost only 1.8% since the beginning of 2019, indicating that while construction activity will ease it is not in a freefall. On a year-over-year basis, the institutional component is 22.5% lower, while the commercial component is down 2.4%.

In August, there were 11 projects each with a value of $100 million or more that entered planning. The leading commercial projects were a $215 million office building in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and a $200 million Amazon fulfillment center in Memphis, Tenn.

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