- The Dodge Momentum Index rose 0.5% in July to 134.7, up from its revised June score of 134.1, Dodge Data & Analytics reported Thursday.
- Both major sectors in nonresidential construction increased slightly last month, with institutional up 0.7% and commercial up 0.4%.
- July marked the fourth consecutive month of increases in the Index — which was the first four-month streak since the end of 2014.
The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of initial reports of nonresidential construction projects in the planning stages, which typically lead nonresidential construction spending by one year.
Last month saw 11 projects valued at more than $100 million entering the planning stages, including a $177 million hospital in Chapel Hill, NC, a $138 million hospital in Atlanta, GA, a $200 million mixed-use project in Sugar Land, TX, and a $161 million office building in Fremont, CA, .
Dodge Data noted in its report that although the overall U.S. economy hasn't seen strong gains, the Index's growth streak in the past four months signals that construction planning is "progressing, albeit in an uneven pattern."
The continued positive direction of the Momentum Index is welcome news after the Commerce Department reported this week that construction spending fell for the third consecutive month. Despite the disappointing results, experts said they expect the industry to bounce back in the next few months. The American Institute of Architects' recent Consensus Construction Forecast also predicted that nonresidential spending will increase nearly 6% in 2016 and 5.6% in 2017.