The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth consecutive month in November although the rate of growth slowed compared with October, the Institute for Supply Management reported today.

“The signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and productions are still at very positive levels,” said Norbert J. Ore, the ISM chairman in a released statement.

“Overall, the recovery in manufacturing is continuing, but many are still struggling based on their comments.”

The national report collects information from purchasing and supply executives in 18 manufacturing industries. Twelve of 18 industries reported growth.

The Purchasing Managers Index was at 53.6 in November, compared with 55.7 in October. Readings above 50 indicate growth.

The New Orders index was 60.3 in November, compared with 58.5 in October. The Production Index was at 59.9, compared with 63.3 in October.

ISM issued a few selected anonymous comments from respondents to its monthly survey.

One respondent within Apparel, Leather & Allied Products industries was “becoming concerned about the value of the U.S. dollar.”

Another respondent within the Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products industries said the “low value of the dollar” was driving commodity costs higher.

Another within the Fabricated Metals Products sector said demand from automotive manufacturers remains strong and building.

An respondent within the Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components industries said capital construction “seems to be picking up, and we are seeing more jobs that are bid out.”

A respondent within the Primary Metals industry said there was a “steady increase in business.”