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Dodge Momentum Index Dips in January

The Dodge Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Construction Network, fell 8.4 percent in January to 201.5 (2000=100) from the revised December reading of 220.0. In January, the commercial component of the DMI fell 10 percent, and the institutional component receded 4.7 percent. The DMI is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

Digging deeper

Weakness in commercial planning in January was broad-based, with office, warehouse, retail and hotel activity declining. Slower activity in education and amusement projects drove down the institutional portion of the Index, nullifying the impact of gains in healthcare and public planning over the month. On a year-over-year basis, the DMI remains 32 percent higher than in January 2022. The commercial component was up 40 percent, and the institutional component was 16 percent higher. 

A total of 26 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in January. The leading commercial projects included the $325 million Westfield Data Center in Westfield, Massachusetts, and the $275 million Illinois Medical District Data Center in Chicago, Illinois. The leading institutional projects comprised of the $315 million USC Discovery and Translational Hub laboratory building in Los Angeles, California, and the $211 million Granary Lab and Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Dodge's take on the data

“The Dodge Momentum Index weakened in January, after 10 consecutive months of gains. While planning activity slowed, the DMI remains elevated, and the volume of projects remains steady,” states Sarah Martin, associate director of forecasting for Dodge Construction Network. “After such strong growth in 2022, we expect the Index to work its way back towards historical norms this year, in tandem with weaker economic growth. Overall, levels of planning activity remained comparatively strong over the month, which bodes well for the construction sector.”

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