The Dodge Momentum Index rose in October, climbing to 125.5 (2000=100) for the month, up 7.6% from September’s reading of 116.6, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The Momentum Index had declined in each of the previous three months, and the increase in October returns the index to the rising trend seen during the first half of this year.

The Momentum Index now stands 18% above last year, which indicates that overall healthy economic growth is working its way through to the construction sector.

The October rise in the Momentum Index was the result of greater planning activity for its two main segments—institutional building, up 8.8% for the month, and commercial building, up 6.8%.

There were six commercial building projects exceeding $100 million that entered into planning during the month: the $200-million Potomac Yard Office Building in Alexandria, Va.; the $200-million Waterfront Office Development in Austin, Texas; a $150-million warehouse in Eastvale, Calif.; the $125-million Hudson Hotel in Philadelphia; a $100-million Phase 2 rehabilitation of the Constitution Gardens in Washington, D.C.; and the $100-million Stadium Walk in Atlanta.