Dodge Momentum Index Steps Lower in November As US Economy Struggles

As the US economy struggles to maintain traction, planning for nonresidential building projects has slowed.

Dmi Nov 2020 2
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The Dodge Momentum Index fell 2.6% in November to 123.3 (2000=100) from the revised October reading of 126.5. 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. The institutional component of the Momentum Index fell 4.4%, while the commercial component lost 1.6%.

Dmi Nov 2020 1Since the expiration of support programs in the CARES Act, the economy has struggled to maintain traction and in its wake planning for nonresidential building projects has slowed. As the next wave of COVID-19 infections quickly approaches, economic growth and job gains will ease further. Additionally, uncertainty over the potential for further federal stimulus has significantly complicated the recovery and will continue to negatively impact nonresidential building throughout the planning and construction processes.

In November, nine projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning. The leading institutional projects were the $320 million modernization of Jefferson High School in Portland OR and a $235 million lab project at Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia PA. The leading commercial projects were a $300 million commercial development on 5th Ave in New York NY and a $300 million warehouse project in Pittsburgh PA.