Despite a February decline, the Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) remains higher than two years ago, report Dodge Construction Network (DCN) officials. February’s DMI fell 1.4% to 180.5 from a revised January reading of 183.0. Commercial planning declined by 2.3%, while institutional planning grew by 0.1%.

The DMI is a monthly measure of the value of nonresidential building projects going into planning, and it has been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

Sarah Martin, DCN’s associate director of forecasting, explained that February’s DMI was 25% higher than in 2022, and future growth is anticipated.

“Weaker office and healthcare planning constrained nonresidential planning in February,” she said. “However, the DMI remains 25% higher than where it was just two years ago. Most other categories showed growth over the month. DCN remains optimistic that nonresidential planning will stay elevated throughout 2024 alongside rising confidence in 2025 market conditions.”

Slower growth in office planning impacted the commercial sector in February, while slower healthcare and amusement planning was offset by stronger education planning. The DMI was 1% higher yearly than in February 2023. The commercial segment was down 10% from last year, while the institutional segment was up 27% over the same period.

In February, 17 projects valued at $100 million or more entered planning. The largest commercial projects included the $220 million QTS Data Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and the $150 million Department of Transportation Transit Maintenance Facility in Boulder, Colorado. The most significant institutional projects comprised the $348 million Island Parkway Life Sciences Campus in Belmont, California, and the $304 million New York Presbyterian Cancer Center in New York.

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