The BlueTarp Building Supply Index – 2019 Q3

Click here to download the Index as a PDF

Drop in Contractor Spend Slows Growth of Building Supply Index

Graph showing trailing average of BlueTarp Building Supply Index going back to 2008. The 2019 Q2 trailing average is 132.49 and the unadjusted average is 141.43

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 timeframe reflects further strengthening. A lower value would indicate weakening.

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

Macro-Economic Drivers

Graphs showing macro-economic drivers of consumer confidence, construction spend, and building permits

Spend and Delinquency

graph where X is delinquency and Y is spend


The chart above reflects a trailing 12-month average of our proprietary spend and delinquency data from pro customers of BlueTarp’s 1,000+ active 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?

graph showing how dealers answered how sales are trending, data starting in 2008 and ending in 2019

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

graph showing contractor sentiment looking ahead at the next 12 months, data starting in 2008 and ending in 2019


  • 30%  of contractors expect the economy to decline in the next 12-months.
  • Contractors responded that trade tensions and upcoming 2020 election are drivers of uncertainty.