March Economic Update

April 9, 2015

The Dodge Momentum Index took a small hit in March, dipping slightly as construction planning activity in both the commercial and institutional sectors fell.

Still, an overall rising trend in the Momentum Index points to increased construction starts through at least early 2016, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, the leading provider of data, analytics, news and intelligence serving the North American construction industry.

The Index, a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, fell 2.1 percent to 122.3 from February’s 124.9. Projects in planning have been shown to lead construction spending in nonresidential buildings by a full year, according to the monthly release issued by Dodge Data & Analytics.

Despite March’s decline, the Momentum Index has trended higher over the past 12 months. And through the first three months of 2015, the Index has averaged 122.5, a 12 percent gain over the first three months of 2014.

Meanwhile, employment in the construction industry showed little change over the month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.