Dodge Momentum Index falls 5% after 6 straight months of gains
- The Dodge Momentum Index ended a six-month streak of gains in April, falling 5.1% to 133.8 from a downward-revised revised March reading of 140.9, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
- The institutional sector, the driver of previous gains in the index, dropped 12%, while the commercial segment remained almost flat at 0.1%.
- Even with this reported setback in momentum, since early 2016, the index has gained more than 20% through the end of March 2017 — far surpassing the same period in 2014–2015, which saw only a 4% increase. Dodge economists said this trend indicates that construction through the rest of 2017 should continue its expansion.
The number of commercial and institutional projects entering the planning stages and valued at more than $100 million dropped to six in April. These included a $275 million commercial building in Brooklyn, NY; the Optimus Logistics Center in Perris, CA; the $200 Kennedy Health Patient Tower in Turnersville, NJ; and the $110 million Highline High School replacement in Burien, WA.
Dodge reported last month that March nonresidential construction starts rose by 5% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $743.7 billion, representing the third-consecutive month of increases. The nonbuilding category of public works and its growth rate of 16% was the main driver, as it was the previous month. Residential also rose 4% in March thanks to an uptick in multifamily, and office construction starts rose 41%.
ConstructConnect also reported strong starts activity across the board for March, with institutional up 28.6%, commercial up 12.4% and heavy engineering/civil with gains of 11%. However, total year-over-year starts were down 5.9%, as were year-to-date starts (-5.1%).
Another indicator of future construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index from the American Institute of Architects, saw continued growth in March, reaching a score of 54.3. The AIA will release the April reading later this month, which will indicate whether the group reinforces the April dip in the Dodge index.
- Dodge Data & Analytics Dodge Momentum Index Loses Steam in April
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