The Dodge Momentum Index moved 4.1% higher in September to 143.6 (2000=100) from the revised August reading of 137.9. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, 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.Click on graph for larger image.
The gain in September was due entirely to an 8.9% increase in the commercial component, while the institutional component fell 4.8%.
For the third quarter, the overall Momentum Index averaged 140.1, a scant increase of 0.7% from its average in the previous quarter. Compared to the third quarter of 2018, however, the Momentum Index is 8.6% lower with the commercial component 3.7% lower than a year ago and the institutional component down 16.2%. While the dollar volume of projects in planning is certainly lower than it was a year ago, the index has moved more sideways than downward over the last two quarters.
This graph shows the Dodge Momentum Index since 2002. The index was at 143.6 in September, up from 137.9 in August.
According to Dodge, this index leads "construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year". After declining late last year, this index has moved mostly sideways in 2019.