The Dodge Momentum Index, which measures the first or initial report of nonresidential building projects in planning, jumped 4.1 percent in October to a reading of 133.6. That compares to a DMI reading of 128.3 in September.
Its commercial component rose 6.1 percent for the month and is now 20 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.
The Momentum Index's other component, institutional, increased 1.4 percent for the month and is now 10 percent higher compared to October 2015.
The first or initial reports of nonresidential building projects in the planning phase typically lead actual construction spending by about a year.
Dodge Data and Analytics monitors the Dodge Momentum Index.
Trump Policies Could Be a Boon for Construction Industry
President-elect Donald Trump's calls for increased infrastructure spending could prove to be a boon for the U.S. construction industry, according to forecasters at Dodge Data & Analytics.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly expressed a need to increase federal investment and upgrade roads, highways, bridges and other public works infrastructure. His latest proposal involves spending up to $550 billion in federal funds over a five-year period.
"The broad proposal for increased federal funding should support the public works sector, either directly or indirectly, by keeping attention focused on the need to upgrade infrastructure," said Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data and Analytics. "The ways in which the Trump proposals will affect construction will become clearer as more details come forth, including how these proposals make their way through Congress. For the moment, it's still believed that total construction starts in 2017 will increase 5 percent, with some dampening for health care-related projects accompanied by improvement for public works construction."
Trump's emphasis on upgrading the national transportation network would bring much needed revitalization to U.S. infrastructure and create favorable business conditions across the design and construction industries, Murray said. The president-elect's proposed policy to spend more money on these types of improvements could also spur Congress to act on two existing legislative items -- the Water Resources Development Act and the 2017 Federal Appropriations Bill.