The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) reached levels of activity in 2023 that haven’t been recorded since 2008, says Sarah Martin, associate director of forecasting for Dodge Construction Network (DCN). The DMI averaged 184.3 in 2023.

On a monthly basis, DCN data indicates that the DMI rose 3% in December to 186.6 from a revised November reading of 181.5. Commercial planning increased by 1%, and institutional planning grew by 6.1%.

The DMI is a monthly measure of the value of nonresidential building projects going into planning, shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

“The Momentum Index ended the year 11% below the November 2022 peak, ultimately stabilizing as the year progressed,” reports Martin. “Regardless, the DMI averaged a reading of 184.3 in 2023, hitting levels of activity that haven’t been recorded since 2008. While ongoing labor and construction cost issues will persist in 2024, many projects are in the planning queue and will support construction spending going into 2025.”

Hotel and data center planning drove growth in the commercial segment of the DMI in December. Stronger healthcare and public building planning supported more momentum on the institutional side. The DMI was 2% lower than in December 2022. The commercial segment was down 9% from year-ago levels, while the institutional segment was up 14% over the same period.

Twenty-three projects valued at $100 million or more entered planning in December, with six valued over $400 million. The largest commercial projects include the $500 million Universal Theme Park Kids Resort and Hotel in Frisco, Texas, and the $400 million Dog River Industrial Park in Mobile, Alabama. The largest institutional projects include two Mayo Clinic buildings valued at $400 million in Rochester, Minnesota.

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