The Dodge Momentum Index moved +4.1% higher in September to 143.6 (2000=100) from the revised August reading of 137.9. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, 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 gain in September was due entirely to an +8.9% increase in the commercial component, while the institutional component fell 4.8%. For the third quarter, the overall Momentum Index averaged 140.1, a scant increase of 0.7% from its average in the previous quarter.
Compared to the third quarter of 2018, however, the Dodge Momentum Index is -8.6% lower, with the commercial component 3.7% lower than a year ago and the institutional component down 16.2%.
In September, 15 projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning. The leading commercial projects tracked by Dodge Data & Analytics were a $400 million consolidated rental car facility at Newark International Airport in Newark, NJ, and a $163 million embassy renovation in Arlington, VA. The leading institutional projects were a $235 million dormitory project in Irvine, CA, and the $180 million Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, AR.