Source: McGraw Hill Construction
The Dodge Momentum Index rose 2.8% in November compared to the previous month, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The 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. November’s increase brought the Momentum Index to 117.9 (2000=100), as it regained upward movement after pausing in October. The latest month was the highest reading for the Momentum Index since March 2009, although the current level is still well below the peak readings back in 2007 (when the Momentum Index averaged 183). The November upturn in plans for new construction may be a sign that October’s uncertainty over the budget and debt ceiling impasse is now easing – at least until those issues are raised again in January and February.
Markets in 54 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released today. The index’s nationwide score of .86 indicates that, based on current permits, prices and employment data, the nationwide market is running at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity.