Dodge Momentum Index improves in July

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The Dodge Momentum Index climbed 8.1% in July after retreating a revised 2.4% in June, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning. Combined, these projects have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The Momentum Index for July came in at 98.8 (2000=100), up from June’s revised level of 91.4. This month’s improvement in the Momentum Index is consistent with last week’s employment report, which showed a stronger than expected increase of 163,000 jobs. Although further increases in the index would be needed to suggest a true rebound in construction, this month’s gain could be considered a first step in that direction.

Both the commercial and institutional components of the Dodge Momentum Index rose in July. The institutional building segment of the Momentum Index advanced 9.0% in July after a sharp 11.2% decline in June. An uptick in new planning projects for education buildings (+5.8%) aided the gain in institutional building.

The commercial building segment of the Momentum Index climbed 7.3% in June, even stronger than last month’s revised 6.7% improvement. Commercial building was helped by a small 2.5% gain in new plans for office projects.  Read More.

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