The Dodge Momentum Index fell in July, dropping 3.3 percent to 135.0 (2000=100) from its revised June reading of 139.6. 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 move lower in July was due to a 6.6 percent decline in the institutional component of the Momentum Index, while the commercial component fell 1.1 percent. This month continues a recent trend of volatility in the Momentum Index where a string of gains is interrupted by a step backwards in planning intentions.
Despite the decline from June to July, the Momentum Index is 6.9 percent higher than one year ago, which suggests further moderate gains in construction activity throughout the year. The commercial component of the Momentum Index is 8.0 percent higher than last year, while the Institutional component is 5.3 percent higher.
In July, nine projects entered planning each with a value of $100 million or more. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were the $200 million Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodbridge, Va., and the $200 million phase 2B of the Thompson Education Center in Rocky Hill, N.Y.
The leading commercial building projects were a $177 million Amazon fulfillment center in North Randall, Ohio, and the $170 million Pala Casino and Resort in Pala, Calif.