Strong gains in institutional and commercial planning helped the Dodge Momentum Index rise to 125.3 in July, up 5.4 percent from its June reading of 118.9, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

Courtesy of Dodge Data & Analytics
Courtesy of Dodge Data & Analytics

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 economic doldrums of the first half of 2015 were accompanied by a saw tooth pattern for the Index, and July’s increase returns the Index to its generally rising trend over the past four years,” a release from Dodge reads. “Improving real estate market fundamentals in the commercial sector and increased bond-related funding for institutional projects should continue to exert a positive influence over the Index through the remainder of 2015.”

The institutional sector saw a 6.0-percent increase, followed by commercial planning at 4.9 percent. A total of 13 projects entering planning in July had a value exceeding $100 million – seven commercial and six institutional.