The Dodge Momentum Index has declined 3.3% to 135.0 (2000=100) from its revised June reading of 139.6.
The 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. The move lower in July was due to a 6.6% decline in the institutional component of the Momentum Index, while the commercial component fell 1.1%.
This month continues a recent trend of volatility in the momentum index where a string of gains is interrupted by a step backwards in planning intentions. Despite the decline from June to July, the index is 6.9% higher than one year ago, which suggests further moderate gains in construction activity throughout the year. The commercial component is 8.0% higher than last year, while the institutional component is 5.3% higher.
In July, nine projects entered planning each with a value of $100 million or more. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were the $200 million Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodbridge VA and the $200 million phase 2B of the Thompson Education Center in Rocky Hill NY.