The Dodge Momentum Index fell 2.4 percent in August to 129.1 (2000=100) from its revised July reading of 132.2.

The decline can be attributed to an 8.7-percent drop in the commercial component of the index, while the institutional category rose 7.3 percent. The commercial component has seen a steep rise over the past year as large projects—particularly office buildings—entered the planning cycle. The August retreat for the commercial segment brings planning activity back to a more consistent level with a sustainable pace of development.

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.

In August, eight projects entered planning each with a value of $100 million or more.