Dodge Data and Analytics announced its Dodge Momentum Index increased 1.5% in December to 156.2 (2000 equals 100) from the revised November reading of 153.9. The Dodge Momentum Index 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. Both components of the Dodge Momentum Index rose over the month; the institutional component gained 2.3%, while the commercial component rose 0.9%.

For the year, the Dodge Momentum Index averaged 141.9, a decline of 3.7% from 2018’s average. In 2019, the commercial component was 2.3% lower than the previous year, while the institutional component dropped 5.9%. Last year’s slip in the dollar value of projects entering planning suggests that construction spending for nonresidential buildings could see a setback in the year to come, according to Dodge Data and Analytics. However, the Dodge Momentum Index ended the year on a high note, indicating that a decline in 2020 construction is likely to be modest in nature, the firm stated.
In December, 13 projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning. The leading commercial projects were the $300 million Churchill Downs Hotel in Louisville, Ky., and a $200 million Walmart distribution center in Topeka, Kan. Leading institutional projects were the $250 million Memorial Hermann Medical Center in Shenandoah, Texas, and the $240 million Advent Health Hospital in Lenexa, Kan.