The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2018 Q4

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Index reveals more uncertainty with first year-over-year decline since 2016

line graph showing The BlueTarp Building Supply Index performance going from 2008 to 2018 Q4


How to Interpret the Index

BlueTarp’s Building Supply Index is a quarterly measure of the economic health of the building supply industry. The Index is a weighted composite of proprietary BlueTarp spending and delinquency data as well as three macro-economic factors: building permits, construction spend, and consumer confidence. BlueTarp’s spending and delinquency data offers a unique cross-section of the industry, representing trends from experience with 120,000 pro customers at over 1,000 active suppliers across the United States including hardware stores, lumber yards, building material suppliers, flooring, and plumbing/HVAC.

The index value of 100 is benchmarked to April 2013. Values below 100 reflect recessionary or recovering performance. Values above 100 reflect healthy economic activity. The Index shows both an unadjusted and 12-month trailing average view to incorporate seasonality. The best way to interpret the unadjusted view is to compare current quarter performance to the same quarter the previous year. The best way to read the trailing average view, is quarter to quarter in the same year. A higher value vs. previous time frame reflects further strengthening. A lower value would indicate weakening.

Macro-Economic Drivers

three graphs showing macro economic drivers, the first is Consumer Confidence, the second Construction Spend, the third for building permits

Spend and Delinquency

graph where X is delinquency and Y is spend

How to Read This:

The chart above reflects a trailing 12-month average of our proprietary spend and delinquency data from pro customers of BlueTarp’s 2,000+ suppliers across the US. Each data point reflects the average spend and delinquency of contractors for a given month. The best way to read is to compare data point to data point.

Contractor Sentiment

Compared to last year, how are
your sales trending?

Bar graph showing recent Contractor Sentiment for 2018 Sales vs 2017

Looking ahead at the next 12 months, what
is your view on the health of the US economy?

bar graph showing contractor sentiment regarding healthy of the US economy looking forward 12 months


  • Nearly 30% of respondents are anticipating an economic decline within the next 12-months.
  • Contractors are uncertain about tariffs, interest rates, and trade wars.
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The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2019 Q1
The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2019 Q1

The Index continues to show year-over-year decline despite bullish outlook. The current unadjusted average ...

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The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2018 Q3
The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2018 Q3


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