The Dodge Momentum Index slipped slightly in March, retreating 0.6 percent to a reading of 146.5. The momentum index is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.
In March, the commercial component of the index fell 0.8 percent while the institutional component dipped 0.2 percent.
“It is still very early on in the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and March’s data would not fully capture any potential impact of the pandemic on construction planning,” said Dodge Data & Analytics. “However, it is heartening that projects continued to move into the early planning stages at a reasonable pace despite the near stoppage in economic activity over the last few weeks.”
Dodge said it’s unclear whether there will be delays in starting dates due to virus-related workforce issues, supply constraints or government ordered construction pauses.
In March, 14 projects valued at $100 million or more entered the planning stage.
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