The Dodge Momentum Index took a step forward in September mostly due to the commercial aspect. The Index, published by Dodge Data & Analytics, measures the initial report of nonresidential building during the planning stage, which can lead to spending by a full year.

The commercial component improved nearly 9% in September to push the overall index up 4.1%. The institutional component slipped almost 5%.

"While the dollar volume of projects in planning is certainly lower than it was a year ago, the index has moved more sideways than downward over the last two quarters," states a release from Dodge Data & Analytics referring to the third quarter data.

There were 15 projects valued at $100 million or more that entered planning in September. They included a $400 million rental car facility at Newark Liberty International Airport and a $163 million embassy renovation in Virginia on the commercial side. Institutional projects included a $235 million dormitory project in California and a $180 million medical center project in Arkansas.

-Michael Miller, managing editor