The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2017 Q4

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graphic showing the unadjusted 2017 Q4 Index is 130.52


line graph showing performance of the BlueTarp Index starting in 2008 until 2017 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 2,000 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 timeframe reflects further strengthening. A lower value would indicate weakening.

Maco Economic Drivers

2017 Q4 graphs showing consumer confidence, construction spend and building permits

Speed and Delinquency

2017 Q4 scatterplot 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

2017 Q4 graph showing contractor sales

2017 Q4 graph showing views of the health of the US economy


  • Many contractors expressed optimism about bi-partisan collaboration, pro-business decisions and strong customer spending
  • Others voiced concerns about an “overheated economy” and tax reform potentially hurting middle-class spending  

Macro-economic data points can be restated up to four months post release. 

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The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2018 Q1
The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2018 Q1

Q1 2018 index lowers thanks to contractors expecting the next year's sales to improve with the increase in ...

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The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2017 Q3
The BlueTarp Building Supply Index - 2017 Q3

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