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Dodge Momentum Index Falls in November

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 3.7 percent in November to 119.9 (2000=100) from its October reading of 124.5. 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. Previously, the index had posted large month-to-month increases in July (+4.6 percent) and September (+4.9 percent). The loss of momentum seen in October and again in November is returning the index to a level that’s more consistent with the gentle upward trend in planning activity that began in 2012. The decline in November for the overall index was the result of a 10.2 percent slide in commercial planning activity, while projects entering planning in the institutional sector increased by 5.3 percent.

There were a total of seven projects entering planning in November, each with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $160 million office building in Boston and a $130 million retail project in Somerville, Mass. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $325 million alteration of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, N.Y., and a $238 million hospital in Chula Vista, Calif.

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