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Electrical Marketing’s Leading Economic Indicators - September 2017

Sept. 22, 2017
PMI stays strong but Dodge Momentum index weakens while rig counts grow.

Purchasing Managers Index remains on growth track in August. The August PMI registered 58.8%, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the July reading of 56.3%, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s latest Manufacturing Report On Business. The New Orders Index registered 60.3%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the July reading of 60.4%.

Dodge Momentum Index slides in August. The Dodge Momentum Index moved lower in August, falling 2.4% to 129.1 (2000=100) from its revised July reading of 132.2. 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 decline in August can be attributed to an 8.7% drop in the commercial component of the Momentum Index, while the institutional component rose 7.3%. The commercial component has seen a steep rise over the past year as large projects – particularly office buildings – entered the planning cycle.

In August, eight projects entered planning each with a value of $100 million or more. For the institutional building sector, the leading projects were the $230 million University of New Mexico hospital replacement project in Albuquerque and a $218 million high school in Aledo, TX. The leading commercial building projects were the $205 million Niagara Falls Grand Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY, and a $178 million Amazon fulfillment center in Salem, OR.

Permian Basin rig count leads the nation. The Baker Hughes Rig Count continued climbing the week of Sept. 8, with the U.S. total increasing by one to 944 working rigs, a level that’s up by 436 rigs over the same time period last year.

Texas’ Permian Basin is showing the most growth with a 182-rig increase over last year to 382 rigs. The state’s Eagle Ford region also showed growth, with a 35-rig increase to 73 rigs. On the state level, Texas leads the nation with 455 working rigs, followed by Oklahoma (130); New Mexico (68); Louisiana (65); and North Dakota (53).