Portland, Maine-based BlueTarp Financial, a credit-management company for B2B suppliers, released its Q4 2017 Building Supply Index. The Q4 2017 index value rose to 130.52 from 122.23 in Q4 2016, its highest value on record since tracking began in 2008.
To interpret the index, values below 100 reflect recessionary or recovering performance. Values above 100 reflect healthy economic activity.
Consumer confidence continues to be the main driver for the elevated index level, showing another 4.5% increase over the previous quarter, BlueTarp noted.
The index reflects seasonal dips in construction spend and building permits but they continue to show growth over the same period last year.
As a supplement to the Building Supply Index, BlueTarp conducts a quarterly survey of its contractors to gauge sentiment on the current and future state of the economy. This quarter, it saw contractor sentiment rise by 14%. They are encouraged by bi-partisan collaboration, pro-business decisions and strong customer spending, it added.
“The index has reached its highest value over the last 10 years. There is no denying times are good right now,” said Scott Simpson, president and CEO of BlueTarp. “Contractors expect this to continue or be further bolstered by the tax legislation. I remain concerned delinquencies quietly continue to inch upward.”
The report represents trends from 120,000 pro customers and more than 2,000 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.