NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Manufacturing activity slowed slightly in September, a report from a business group showed Friday, as the closely watched ISM index came in a touch stronger than Wall Street expectations.
The Institute of Supply Management's survey of manufacturers' purchasing managers came in at 58.5 for September, compared with a 59.0 reading in August. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector, though.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast the index to fall to 58.3 for September.
"Both new orders and production remain strong, and employment growth accelerated," said Norbert Ore, chair of the group's manufacturing business survey committee
The subindex that measures new order activity slipped to a reading of 58.1 from 61.2 in August. But most of those surveyed reported new order activity about the same as the previous month. Those reporting increased new orders fell to 31 percent from 36 percent, but those reporting weaker new orders also declined to 15 percent from 17 percent.
The production subindex rose to 61.6 from a reading of 59.5 in August, while the employment subindex rose to 58.1 from 55.7 The survey found 26 percent with higher employment levels in the month, up from 24 percent in August, while those reporting lower employment slipped to 14 percent from 15 percent in the earlier period.
The prices paid subindex remained high at 76.0, but that was off the 81.5 reading in August. Those reporting higher prices fell to 55 percent from 61 percent the previous month. But only 3 percent reported paying lower prices in the report.