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Dodge Momentum Index Starts 2020 on the Downside

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 2.7 percent in January to 152.5 (2000=100) from the revised December reading of 156.7, snapping a four-month streak of gains. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, 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 decline in the overall Momentum Index was the result of an 11.0-percent drop in the institutional component, more than offsetting a 2.7-percent gain in the commercial component.

A similar pattern exists when comparing year-over-year growth in the components of the Index. The institutional component was down 7.4 percent when compared to January 2019 while the commercial component was 17.4 percent higher than a year ago. These conflicting trends pushed the overall Momentum Index up 7.1 percent from January 2019.