The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI), issued by Dodge Construction Network, fell 5.1% in April to 180.9 (2000=100) from the revised March reading of 190.6. In April, the commercial component of the DMI fell 8.0%, and the institutional component improved 0.3%.
“On par with our expectations, the Dodge Momentum Index continued to recede in April, due to declining economic conditions and ongoing banking uncertainty.” stated Sarah Martin, associate director of forecasting for Dodge Construction Network. “Weaker commercial planning is driving the DMI’s decline, as it is more exposed to real-time economic changes than the largely publicly funded institutional segment.”
Commercial planning in April was pushed down by sluggish office, hotel and retail activity. Institutional planning remained flat, as weak education planning offset growth in healthcare and amusement projects. Year over year, the DMI remains 11% higher than in April 2022. The commercial and institutional components were up 7% and 17% respectively.
The DMI is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. emphasis added
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows the Dodge Momentum Index since 2002. The index was at 180.9 in April, down from 190.6 the previous month.
According to Dodge, this index leads “construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year”. This index suggests a solid pickup in commercial real estate construction in early 2023. but a slowdown towards the end of 2023 or in 2024.
Commercial construction is a lagging economic indicator.