Dodge: Construction Momentum Starts 2022 With a Drop

Reports on nonresidential building projects in planning show falls. After rising to 23% in 2021, January's Dodge Momentum Index starts the year out with a four-month low.

Jan 2022's Dodge Momentum Index Falls to 152.9
The Dodge Momentum Index includes nonresidential buildings, except manufacturing.
Dodge Construction Network

The Dodge Momentum Index declined 7% in January to a four-month low of 152.9 (2000=100), from the revised December reading of 163.7. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Construction Network, is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. In January, commercial planning fell 9%, and institutional planning slipped 1%.

The Dodge Momentum Index had a stellar 2021, rising 23% from 2020 and reaching levels not seen in nearly 14 years. The recent string of declines, however, may be blamed on rising costs, logistical problems and shortages of skilled labor. Still, even as it has decreased, the dollar value of projects in planning remains exceptionally strong, especially for education, warehouse and healthcare projects.

Jan 2022's Dodge Momentum Index Falls to 152.9The Dodge Momentum Index of 2005 to 2022. The lowest DMI score was July 2011 at 72.6.Dodge Construction Networ

Leading Projects

A total of 13 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in January. The leading institutional projects were a $400 million hospital in Tahlequah, OK, and the $320 million Ascension Seton Medical Tower in Austin, Texas. The leading commercial projects were the $300 million first phase of the Willets Point redevelopment in Willets Point, New York, and the $300 million XNRGY headquarters in Chandler, Arizona.

Many of the challenges facing construction in 2022 will be similar to those in 2021, dampening expectations for robust growth. However, the volume of projects in planning provides hope not only for a continuing recovery, but for it to be more evenly dispersed than last year.