The Dodge Momentum Index jumped 4% in December, pushing it 17% above a year ago and to its highest level since February 2009, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

The index measures non-residential building projects entering the planning stage, which is a lead indicator of non-residential building activity in the coming year.

There were nine commercial building projects that each exceeded $100 million and entered into planning during December. Planning activity in the institutional building market increased 3.8% during the month.