The U.S. Department of Commerce released construction spending numbers for the month of September this morning. The figure was 0.6% higher than in August, and 7.8% higher than in September of last year. All in all, total outlays came in at an $851.6 billion seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Some 34% of the total was attributed to residential construction.

The figures, collected monthly since 1960, include both public and private construction projects, and take into account a wide variety of costs, from labor and materials to interest and taxes to contractor's profits. Private construction spending accounted for nearly 70% of the overall figures, or more than $580 billion. Of the public outlays, the vast majority were on the state and local level; less than 10% were from federal spending.

Bloomberg reports that economists had been expecting a monthly gain of about 0.7%, but that the $851.6 billion figure was the highest recorded since October of 2009.