The US Commerce Department says residential construction spending was up in March…

So, how are you doing?

According to Engineering News Record Washington, DC Bureau Chief Tom Ichniowski, the latest Commerce Department’s US Census Bureau monthly report on completed construction just released this week says that residential construction is up percentage wise more than other categories. The Census reports that the estimated value of projects “put in place” in March was better than the expected, up 1.5 percent month-to-month towards a $441.8 billion annual rate — assuming everything stays on track. Better yet, the Census figures are up 7.6 percent over March 2015.

Good news, right?

Maybe…The answer depends on your area of focus.

According to Ken Simonson, The Associate General Contractors of America’s Chief Economist, spending on multifamily residential construction jumped 5.6 percent for the month and 34.6 percent year-over-year. But the bad news is that single-family construction spending this March was flat compared to February 2016. It’s still up 13.4 percent compared to last March, but is that someone trying to make lemonade out of lemons?

Anirban Basu, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors which focus on nonresidential sectors, hedged his comments a bit, saying, “While the last several months have failed to deliver significant spending growth, many contractors indicate that they remain busy and that backlog levels are satisfactory.” However, he added, given the uptick in employment and foreign investment in the US, plus low interest rates, even stronger results could have been expected.

Uptick or downturn smart operations matter

Regardless of the economy, you know that doing good work is not enough if you’re not turning a profit. Are you? Are you bidding accurately? Allocating time and materials appropriately? Do you know where your people are and what they’re doing?

You should. If knowledge is power, accessing tools to deliver real transparency into hours, job assignments, client management, and productivity to ensure projects stay on schedule and on budget can make the difference between eking out a living and making real money. And maybe cut down the back office cleanup you do nights and weekends. Win. Win. Win!

So how do you get there? Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors integrate their business management needs with accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office. If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at support@knowify.com.

Knowify. Built for the real world.