The Dodge Momentum Index rose 5.9 percent in March, according to the latest report from McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building products in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

The March index was 109.4 (2000=100), marking the fourth monthly gain in a row, following small drops from August to November of last year.

“More recently, the four straight gains for the Momentum Index suggest that owners and developers now perceive the climate for construction to be improving, as shown by the rising amount of commercial and institutional building projects reaching the planning stage,” writes McGraw-Hill in its analysis of the latest index.