PORTLAND, ME – December 20, 2019 – BlueTarp Financial – the leading credit management company for B2B suppliers – released its Q3 2019 Building Supply Index. The Q3 2019 unadjusted view remained flat compared to Q3 2018 at 141.43. The trailing 12-month average, which accounts for seasonality also remained flat at 132.49 compared to Q2 2019.
Despite a still robust overall index level, there are some clear warning signs of a potential economic slowdown. BlueTarp’s contractor spend has been declining over the last 15 months and is now at its lowest level since 2014. In addition, BlueTarp’s Q3 supplemental contractor survey saw a material decline in outlook for the future. * Nearly 30% of contractors that completed BlueTarp’s survey thought the economy would decline in some way within the next 12-months, which is an increase from 22% in Q2. Concerns over trade war and the political uncertainty around the upcoming election are the primary drivers of decline.
“Average spend per contractor has hovered around the same level for most of the last four years” said Scott Simpson, CEO of BlueTarp. “The next 3-4 months will be telling to see if the decline, we are now seeing, stops, reverses itself, or continues.”
To interpret the Index, values below 100 reflect recessionary or recovering performance. Values above 100 reflect healthy economic activity.
The report represents trends from 120,000 pro customers and over 1,000 active building material suppliers across the United States. It also incorporates macro-economic drivers including building permits, construction spend, and consumer confidence as reported monthly by the Census Bureau and The Conference Board.