Monday, May 08, 2017

Leading Index for Commercial Real Estate Decreases in April

by Bill McBride on 5/08/2017 03:40:00 PM

Note: This index is a leading indicator for new non-residential Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment, except manufacturing.

From Dodge Data Analytics: Dodge Momentum Index Loses Steam in April

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 5.1% in April to 133.8 (2000=100) from its revised March reading of 140.9. 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. April’s decline was due to a 12.0% drop for the institutional component of the Momentum Index, while the commercial component rose a meager 0.1%. Since early 2016, the Momentum Index has gained substantial ground, albeit in a saw-tooth pattern, increasing by over 20% through March this year. Despite April’s decline, the broad upward trend for the Momentum Index remains present, suggesting that construction activity still has further room to grow in 2017. The planning data’s strengthening over the past year stands in stark contrast to the 2014-2015 period, when the Momentum Index saw little improvement, gaining just 4.0% in that 24-month span.
emphasis added
Dodge Momentum Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the Dodge Momentum Index since 2002. The index was at 133.8 in April, down from 140.9 in March.

The index is still up solidly year-over-year.

According to Dodge, this index leads "construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year". This suggests further increases in CRE spending over the next year.