U.S. factory activity shrank in March, though at a slower pace than the previous month, according to an industry report released on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 36.3 in March from 35.8 in February, slightly above economists' median forecast for a reading of 36.0.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. ISM said the index has been below this level for 14 straight months.

(Reporting by Richard Leong, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)