December 1, 2010 10:45 AM, EST

ISM Manufacturing Index Shows Continued Expansion

U.S. manufacturing activity slipped slightly in November but showed continued expansion for the 16th straight month, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.

ISM’s monthly factory index fell to a reading of 56.6, from 56.9 in October, the group said. Figures greater than 50 indicate expansion.

The reading was in line with economists’ median forecast of a 56.5 reading, Bloomberg reported.

November’s growth rate was the second fastest in six months, said Norbert Ore, chairman of ISM’s business survey committee,

“Manufacturing continues to benefit from the recovery in autos, but those industries reliant upon housing continue to struggle,” he said in a statement.

Supplier deliveries jumped 6 points to a 57.2 reading, though production fell 7.7 points to a 55 reading, ISM said.

ISM’s factory index measures manufacturing components of the economy.