The Dodge Momentum Index rose 3.6 percent in May from the previous month, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. 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 risen for six consecutive months, the longest period of increases since 2006, according to the latest report. The index now rests at 117.4 and is up 36 percent since May of 2012.

In contrast to prior months, the May advance for the Momentum Index was largely the result of a strong upturn by its institutional segment, according to the report. New plans for institutional buildings rose 10.2 percent in May, bolstered by plans for several college and hospital-related projects.