(Reuters) - Factory activity expanded at a faster pace than expected in September as production and hiring increased, the latest sign of resilience in manufacturing despite faltering economic growth.
The Institute for Supply Management said on Monday its index of national factory activity rose to 51.6 last month from 50.6 in August.
September marked the 26th straight month of expansion in a sector that has shouldered the broader economic recovery.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to edge down to 50.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion manufacturing.
A measure of factory employment rose to 53.8 last month from 51.8 in August, while production climbed to 51.2 from 48.6.