11/02/2015 10:01 EST | Updated 11/02/2016 01:12 EDT

US construction spending rises 0.6 per cent in September to highest level in 7 1/2 years

WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department says U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 per cent in September to the highest level since March 2008, pushed up by a surge in apartment building.

Spending on construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.09 trillion. Construction of apartments and condominiums jumped 4.9 per cent in September from August, while construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 per cent. Overall, private residential construction rose to the highest level since January 2008.

Public construction grew more modestly — up 0.7 per cent from August.

Homebuilding has been helping the economy. Commerce reported last week that private investment in housing grew at an annual pace of 6.1 per cent from July through September — four times the 1.5 per cent growth registered by the overall economy.

Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press