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Nonresidential building plans soften in February

By |  March 12, 2014

The Dodge Momentum Index slipped 2.6 percent in February compared with the previous month, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The momentum index is a monthly measure of the first report for nonresidential building projects in planning.

February’s decline brought the momentum index to 116.5 – down from January’s revised 119.7 but still nearly 20 percent above the February 2012 reading of 97.4. The latest month’s retreat is expected to be a brief pause in a broader upward trend, McGraw Hill Construction says. Weak employment growth in December and January raised concern that the U.S. economic expansion was losing momentum, the firm adds, dampening the planning environment for commercial and institutional buildings.

The February momentum index saw contraction in both its main components, McGraw Hill Construction adds. New plans for commercial buildings dropped 1.7 percent while institutional building fell back 3.7 percent. On the commercial side, declines were reported across all major building types. Even so, there were a number of new commercial projects that continued to make their way into the planning pipeline, the firm says.

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