The U.S. manufacturing sector grew at a marginally slower pace in March after accelerating at its fastest rate in nearly seven years the month before, according to an industry report released on Friday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity dipped to 61.2 last month from 61.4 in February, roughly in line with economists' expectations for a reading of 61.0.

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

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)