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Dodge Momentum Index Drops in October
Nearly All of September's Gain Wiped Out

The Dodge Momentum Index surged in September, but then gave nearly all of that gain back in October with a loss of 4.8 percent.

The Dodge Momentum Index had gained 5.2 percent in September, but reversed course in October with a 4.8 percent loss.

Dodge Data and Analytics' Momentum Index dropped to 125.2 in October from 131.5 the previous month. The index was created in 2000 and established 100 as its benchmark level.

The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first or initial planning reports filed for all nonresidential building projects. The planning phase typically leads actual construction by about a full year.

A sharp jump in the institutional projects category fueled much of the index's large gain in September. "The institutional building sector so far in 2015 has trended upward, but with some volatility on a month-to-month basis that's reminiscent of this sector's upturn in the early stages of its prior recovery back in the previous decade," Dodge Data said.

Dodge's Momentum Index is comprised of two components: institutional and commercial.

The institutional category dropped 4.5 percent to a reading of 115.5 in October. Institutional had surged 10.6 percent the previous month and was back then at 120.9.

Commercial projects declined 5.0 percent in October to a reading of 133.0. This segment had climbed 1.7 percent in September to 140.0.

On a year-to-year basis, the Momentum Index is up 4.8 percent in October, while the commercial and institutional sectors are up 6.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

"There were a total of eight projects entering planning in October with a value that exceeded $100 million," Dodge Data said. "For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $500 million mixed-use facility at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn., and a $151 million warehouse and distribution complex in New Jersey. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were a $350 million hospital in Washington, D.C., and a $110 million hospital in Bethesda, Md."

Source: Dodge Data and Analytics
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Slight Drop in Business at Landscape Firms
Landscape architecture firms experienced a lull in business activity in the third quarter, the American Society of Landscape Architects' most recent Business Quarterly shows.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, 83.40 percent of the respondents said their billable hours were stable to significantly higher. This represents a drop from 86.76 percent in the second quarter.

Also on quarterly basis, 81.56 percent of the responding firms said their inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher. This also is a decline from 84.51 percent in the previous quarter.

On a yearly basis, 81.30 percent of the respondents said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher in the most recent third quarter. This dipped from the 82.38 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

And 84.52 percent of the participants said new work was stable to very high in the third quarter of 2015. This compares to 86.10 percent in the third quarter of last year.

The ASLA said 48 percent of firms with two or more employees plan to hire in the fourth quarter of 2015, about the same as the previous quarter (48.10 percent). And roughly 54.76 percent of firms with five to nine employees said they would hire landscape architects, both experienced and entry-level.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conducted its latest Business Quarterly survey from Oct. 6-20. "The survey is not intended to be statistically significant, but instead provides a snapshot of the landscape architecture industry," the ASLA said. The survey was completed based on responses from 256 firms.

Source: American Society of Landscape Architects
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June 18, 2019, 8:50 am PDT

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