The Dodge Momentum Index increased 2.9 percent in December to 136.7 from its revised November reading of 132.8, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. After trending upward through 2016, the index is now at an eight-year high, but still more than 25 percent below its previous peak at the end of 2007.

The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

December’s gain was due to a 5.7-percent increase in the commercial segment, which more than offset a 1.7-percent drop in institutional. After ending 2015 in a lull, commercial planning intentions climbed 38 percent over the year. Meanwhile, institutional planning settled back in 2016, losing 6 percent after a strong 2015. “This suggests that commercial construction activity has more room to grow in 2017 despite being at a more mature phase of its cycle, while planning in the institutional sector has yet to see the benefit of the numerous education-related bond measures passed in recent years,” reads a release from Dodge.

In December, eight projects entered planning each with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $400 million mixed-use building in Atlanta and a $351 million office tower in San Francisco. The leading institutional projects were a $140 million renovation to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and a $130 million high school in Sherman, Texas.