WASHINGTON (AP) - The Commerce Department says U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September to the highest level since March 2008, pushed up by a surge in apartment building.

WASHINGTON (AP) The Commerce Department says U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 percent 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 percent in September from August, while construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 percent. Overall, private residential construction rose to the highest level since January 2008.

Public construction grew more modestly up 0.7 percent 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 percent from July through September four times the 1.5 percent growth registered by the overall economy.