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Rise in commercial planning offsets dip in institutional activity

HAMILTON, N.J. The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) increased 2.9% in July to 178.7 from the revised June figure of 173.6.

The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Construction Network, is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning. The index is shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. In July, the commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 5.5%, while the institutional component fell 2.0%.

Commercial planning in July was led by an increase in data center, office and warehouse projects, while fewer education and healthcare projects drove the institutional component lower. Compared to July 2021, the Momentum Index was 8%. The commercial component was 15% higher, while the institutional component was 3% lower than a year ago.July 2021.

A total of 14 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in July. The leading commercial projects were the $300 million Schnitzer Industrial Park in Sacramento, CA, the $275 million Parteere 42 mixed-use complex in Miami, FL, and the $180 million Edgecore Data Center in Sterling, VA. The leading institutional projects were the $500 million Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, a $157 million life sciences building in San Franciso, CA, and the $150 million Cal Poly Humboldt Craftman’s student housing project in Arcata, CA.

“The Momentum Index has yet to show signs of stress as recession fears mount. This shows that developers and owners remain confident that nonresidential building projects will weather the storm of higher interest rates and a slowing economy,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “Whether this can be sustained over the medium term remains a key question that will ultimately dictate the pattern for construction starts in 2023.”

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