The U.S. manufacturing sector continued to shrink in July but at a slower pace than the previous month, according to an industry report released on Monday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 48.9 in July from 44.8 in June. The median forecast of 72 economists surveyed by Reuters was for a reading of 46.2.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector.

(Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by James Dalgleish)