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 Q2 2012. Values below 100 reflect recessionary or recovering performance. Values above 100 reflect healthy economic activity. Because the index is not seasonally adjusted, the best way to interpret trends is to compare current quarter performance to the same quarter the previous year. A higher value vs. previous year reflects further strengthening. A lower value would indicate weakening.
Macro-economic data points can be restated up to four months post release.
How to Read This:
The scatterplot above reflects indexed spend and delinquency data from pro customers of BlueTarp’s 2,000+ suppliers across the US. Each data point reflects the average Q2 spend and delinquency for a given year. The best way to read is to compare the direction of the spend and
delinquency trends one year to the next. Q2 2016 reflects the same elevated delinquency levels of Q2 2015 but lower spend performance, which is somewhat inconsistent with other index metrics.
- Vast majority of contractors see 2016 sales as the same or better than 2015
- Perceptions of 2017 are more measured with nearly 35% expecting sales to be more sluggish or in a recession
- Comments suggest uncertainty related to the US presidential election and feared increases in material costs are driving the skeptical outlook
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