BUILDER sister publication Remodeling reports on a survey of building materials dealers that indicates the outlook among contractors may be brightening even if they aren't spending more:

A company that provides credit management services for firms that supply building materials to pros revealed today that its latest survey indicates contractors were feeling even more optimistic about business conditions in the third quarter than their peers did just a few months before. But other data from the same company indicates spending per pro has slowed and economic activity is flat.

According to a survey of 154 pros taken in September for BlueTarp's Building Supply Index report for the third quarter, nearly 35% of the respondents said conditions were improving. That's roughly 10 points better than what a similar group of remodelers reported several months earlier. The percentage of pros feeling positive about the U.S. economy's health also was much higher.

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