The Dodge Momentum Index fell 0.5% in April to 144.3 (the year 2000 = 100) from the revised March reading of 145.1. The momentum index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The retreat in April was the result of the commercial component falling 1% while the institutional component rose a scant 0.2%.

The index has clearly lost some impetus over the last 12 months, according to the company. The overall momentum index is down 8.5% since April 2018, with the commercial component 4.7% lower and the institutional component 13.9% lower. However, over the past several months the index has moved in a crab-like fashion with neither strong gains nor losses. This suggests that there continues to be a reasonably healthy number of projects in the planning pipeline to support a moderate level of construction activity in the coming months.

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