The Dodge Momentum Index fell to 118.3 (2000=100) in June, down 1.3 percent from 119.9 in May, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. 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.
With the June decline, the Index continued its lackluster performance thus far in 2015, and is now up just 2.2 percent when compared to June 2014. Of the two major building sectors covered by the Index, commercial building has recently shown the most loss of momentum, sliding 2.6 percent in June.
The economic weakness in the first quarter has likely played a role in the recent softness for this sector; at the same time, real estate market fundamentals remain favorable and can be expected to support a pickup in new plans for commercial buildings later this year.
On the positive side, the institutional building sector edged up 0.6 pecent in June, showing an increase in planning activity for the second month in a row, and it now stands 10.1 percent above the same month a year ago.
Within the commercial building sector there were three projects that exceeded $100 million, including plans for the following – the $128 million Alexander Court office addition and renovation in Washington, D.C., the $110 million Wharf InterContinental Hotel also in Washington, D.C., and a $108 million warehouse in Boiling Springs, Pa.