Metrostudy, a market intelligence firm following construction-related industries, has issued its third-quarter New Pool Index.

The NPI, launched a year ago, details activity in the construction of new inground pools and is meant, in part, to help predict future activity. It functions as something of a comparator to measure construction statistics of a given quarter against 2007, the most active year in the industry’s history. It reads something like a percentage, where 2007 is represented by the number 100. Numbers above or below 100 indicate the percentage increase or decrease. An index of 120 would show that activity exceeded the 2007 baseline by 20 percent, where an 80 would mean it was 20 percent lower.

The third quarter of 2017 ranked in at 45.8, representing 45.8% of the activity seen in 2007. This is a slight increase over the quarter before, and 7.9% higher than one year earlier. Metrostudy expects the industry to see an 8.2% increase at the end of this year, and another 9.4% uptick by the end of 2018.

“Job growth bounced back in October after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and third quarter’s report on GDP showed another solid gain,” said Metrostudy Chief Economist Mark Boud. “There are few signs of the labor market slowing, and more signs the economy as a whole is strengthening.” He also cited a healthy stock market as another source of confidence for consumers.

“The pool market is improving at a quicker pace than builders may have expected, as many are now reporting backlogs into 2018.”

The firm expects new pool installations to break the 100,000 mark by 2021, for the first time since the Great Recession. This compares with an all-time high of approximately 185,000 pools in one year.

To tabulate this figure, Metrostudy, owned by PSN parent Hanley Wood, tracks permit statistics and analyzes data points for 381 local markets. These data points include tax assessor information showing who owns pools, home sales, unemployment rates and reports from consumers.

Reports on local markets are sold by Metrostudy to interested parties.