The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector rose in August to its highest level since March 2011, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 59.0 from 57.1 the month before. The reading topped expectations of 56.9, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.

The employment gauge slipped slightly to 58.1 from 58.2, below expectations for a read of 58.4. The new orders index rose to 66.7, up from 63.4 and marking its highest level since April 2004. The gauge of prices paid fell to 58.0 from 59.5, in line with expectations.