The Dodge Momentum Index increased to 126.3 (2000=100) in February, a gain of 4.3 percent from January’s 121.1, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The Momentum Index 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 Momentum Index has been exhibiting somewhat of a saw-tooth pattern of late, up in December, down in January, and now up in February, according to Dodge Data. Despite the volatility that is sometimes visible in planning data, the overall trend for the Index continues to be positive, painting the picture of a broad-based yet still moderate recovery for nonresidential building projects at the planning stage, according to the latest report. The Index now stands 17 percent higher than one year ago.

Dodge attributes the increase for the Momentum Index in February to a rise in planning activity for both the commercial and institutional sectors. The institutional sector increased 6.0 percent, while the commercial sector rose by 3.3 percent.