The Dodge Construction Network reports that the Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) increased 5.7% in September to 183.2 from August’s score of 173.4. September’s score falls just 5% below the all-time high.

The Momentum Index measures monthly nonresidential building projects in planning. According to the Dodge Construction Network, the DMI is shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

The DMI states that the commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 2.9%, bolstered by an array of data center projects entering the planning queue. The institutional component increased by 11.7% thanks to a rise in research and development laboratory projects in the education sector. Compared to September 2021, the DMI was 26% higher, the commercial component was up 25% and institutional planning was 28% higher.

“The gain in the Momentum Index and its components in September reassures us that despite whispers of recession, owners and developers are still looking to move forward with projects to meet demand,” says David Reaves, senior economist for the Dodge Construction Network. “Certain subsectors have shown resilience since the pandemic’s onset, such as data center projects, and continue to stream into the planning pipeline. However, looming challenges remain for the sector, including supply shortages and the rising cost of materials that could chip away at the flow of new projects if inflation is not tempered.”

The DMI reports that a total of 39 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in September. The leading commercial projects included a $500 million data center campus on the Tech Park at Brambleton site in Ashburn, Va., and the $500 million construction of two warehousing buildings at the Matrix Global Logistics Park’s West Campus in Bloomfield, N.Y. The leading institutional projects were the $311 million Shoshone-Bannock Casino in Mountain Home, Idaho, and a $300 million laboratory project at 120 Middlesex Ave in Somerville, Mass.