Construction Outlook Bright

March 9, 2015

The outlook for nonresidential construction spending continues to brighten, according to two recently released industry reports.

According to a release from Dodge Data & Analytics, the Dodge Momentum Index increased to 126.3 in February, a gain of 4.3 percent from January’s reading of 121.1.

The Momentum Index reflects “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.”

Although the index has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride – up in December, down in January and up in February – it is up 17 percent over last year. Dodge says, “The overall trend for the index continues to be positive, painting the picture of a broad-based yet still moderate recovery for nonresidential building projects at the planning stage.”

Meanwhile, the construction sector’s unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low of 10.6 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction employers added 29,000 jobs in February, reaching the highest employment total in six years. Construction employment totaled 6,353,000 in February, the highest mark since February 2009, with a 12-month gain of 321,000 jobs or 5.3 percent.