Dodge Momentum Index Increases in July
The Dodge Momentum Index moved 1.4 percent higher in July to 169.8 (2000=100) from the revised June reading of 167.3. The 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. In July, the commercial component of the momentum index grew by 3.3 percent, while the institutional component fell 1.5 percent. The headline momentum index has risen steadily since its slippage during the third quarter of 2017. Stronger economic growth and the support from still-healthy real estate market fundamentals (occupancies and rents) have contributed to these gains for construction projects at the planning stage, which have yet to be restrained by the uncertainty arising from higher material costs and higher interest rates.