Steel Markets

Dodge Momentum Index Shows First Growth of the Year

Written by Sandy Williams

The Dodge Momentum Index posted its first gain in 2020, moving 3.4 percent higher to 124.7.  The index has declined 18 percent since December 2019 due to business shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. April was a particularly difficult month for construction planning.

“The pullback has largely come from institutional planning, rather than commercial plans,” said Dodge Data & Analytics. “State and local government revenues have been squeezed as declines in economic activity have led to a drop in tax revenue just as costs related to the pandemic have skyrocketed. The institutional component is currently 28 percent below its December 2019 peak and 21 percent lower than its year ago level. Commercial planning is down 13 percent from its January 2020 peak, but is actually 1 percent higher than its year-ago level.”

In July, the commercial component of the Index rose 5.3 percent while the institutional component was unchanged. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which has been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

Thirteen projects valued at $100 million or more entered the planning stage in July.

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