Metrostudy/Zonda’s New Pool Index for the fourth quarter of 2019 showed new inground pool construction growth for the 38th quarter in a row.

The New Pool Index (NPI) measures swimming pool construction against 2005, considered the peak of pool-industry activity. It works similar to a percentage, with 2005 activity represented by 100. Numbers above and below 100 show the percentage comparison: An index of 120 would indicate activity that was 20% higher than in 2005; an 80 would mean it was 20% lower.

For Q4 2019, the industry saw an index of 53.4. This represents an increase of 0.8% from the previous quarter, and 4.9% from one year earlier. This growth rate has slowed from the 8.2% averages tracked from 2016 to 2018.

Metrostudy/Zonda expects the cooling to continue, with year-over-year gains of 2% expected for 2020.

“New pool construction continues to tick higher as consumer confidence has been strengthened by 18 consecutive months of wage gains above 3%,” said Mark Boud, chief economist at Metrostudy/Zonda. “However, as the US economy runs in the late innings of its cycle, and employment growth begins to slow over the next few years, we expect relatively flat growth for discretionary projects like new pools. As has been the case since the last recession, the renovation, repair, and maintenance segment will remain the pool industry’s buttress through any future economic slowdown.”