The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in February but at a slower rate than was expected, according to an industry report released on Monday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity declined to 56.5 in February from 58.4 in January. The median forecast of 80 economists surveyed by Reuters was for a reading of 57.5.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch and Edward Krudy, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)