NEW YORK – November 6, 2015 – The Dodge Momentum Index fell 4.8% in October to 125.2 (2000=100) from its September reading of 131.5. 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 October decline for the Momentum Index nearly reverses September’s large gain (up 5.2%), which had been fueled by a sharp jump for institutional building projects at the planning stage. The institutional building sector so far in 2015 has trended upward, but with some volatility on a month-to-month basis that’s reminiscent of this sector’s upturn in the early stages of its prior recovery back in the previous decade. In October, planning for institutional building projects dropped 4.5% after surging 10.6% in September, while commercial building projects retreated 5.0% after September’s 1.7% gain. Compared to the same month a year ago, the Momentum Index in October was still up 4.8%, with increases for both the commercial and institutional sectors, up 6.3% and 2.6% respectively.
There were a total of eight projects entering planning in October with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $500 million mixed-use facility at the Mall of America in Minneapolis MN and a $151 million warehouse and distribution complex in Newark NJ. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $350 million hospital in Washington DC and a $110 million hospital in Bethesda MD.
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