LOS ANGELES An improving outlook for commercial projects helped push a benchmark construction planning index up 5.2 percent month on month in April, the measures fourth consecutive monthly increase.
The Dodge Momentum Index, which keeps tabs on initial reports of nonresidential building projects in planning, is at its highest level since mid-2009, according to the McGraw Hill Construction unit of New York-based McGraw Hill Financial Inc.
The index has risen 23 percent since December 2012, the company said.
Last months increase was largely due to an 8.5-percent rise in the commercial segment, the company said. Among these developments were plans for a $71-million outlet center in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and a $60-million shipping center in San Francisco.
However, new plans for institutional building rose only 1.2 percent in April, as a decline in the health-care sector offset a gain in education-related projects.