Dodge Index Jumps 2.4 Percent in January
Institutional projects provided the fuel needed for the Dodge Momentum Index to jump 2.4 percent higher in the month of January.
The DMI climbed to 126.4 from 123.4 in December, driven in large part by a 3.3 percent increase in its institutional projects category. Commercial projects rose 1.6 percent and also contributed to the DMI's higher reading in January.
Dodge's Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) reports of nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.
On a year-over-year basis, the DMI is 1.7 percent higher, even though the commercial portion is down 6.8 percent.
"Commercial planning intentions started 2015 on an aggressive note before settling back by mid-year," Dodge Data and Analytics said in a news release. "Over the most recent few months, commercial planning has been following a saw-tooth pattern, but the overall trend has been positive as most commercial real estate fundamentals are improving. The institutional index on the other hand started 2015 on a weak note, but improved throughout the year and is now 14.0 percent higher than one year ago."
Ten projects entered the planning phase with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $270 million convention center hotel in San Diego, and a $140 million office and retail building in Atlanta, Ga. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $160 million renovation and addition at a USDA lab in Athens, Ga., and a $150 million hospital expansion in Corpus Christi, Texas.