The U.S. manufacturing sector grew more quickly than expected in August, chalking up a 13th straight month of expansion, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 56.3 last month from 55.5 in July. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Reuters was for a reading of 53.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The report's employment component rose to 60.4 from 58.6 in July.

Manufacturing has expanded every month since August 2009, though the pace of growth had slowed in recent months amid signs that a broader U.S. economic recovery was faltering.

(Reporting by Steven C. Johnson; Editing by James Dalgleish)