Dodge Momentum Index rises 5.4 percent in July

The Dodge Momentum Index rose to 125.3 in July, up 5.4 percent from its June reading of 118.9, Dodge Data & Analytics said on Tuesday.

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 economic doldrums of the first half of 2015 were accompanied by a saw-tooth pattern for the index, and July’s increase returns the index to its generally rising trend over the past four years. Improving real estate market fundamentals in the commercial sector and increased bond-related funding for institutional projects should continue to exert a positive influence over the index throughout the remainder of 2015. The increase in July relative to June was led by strong gains for both institutional planning, up 6.0 percent, and commercial planning, up 4.9 percent.

There was a total of 13 projects entering the planning stages in July with a value that exceeded $100 million – seven commercial projects and six institutional projects. In the commercial building sector, a $200 million Walmart distribution center in Davenport, Florida, entered the planning stage, as did a $200 million office building on Sixth St. NW in Washington, D.C.

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