Manufacturing activity grew for the seventh straight month in August, the Institute of Supply Management reported today.

The institute said its index of business activity remained steady at 50.5 in August compared with July. An index above 50 signifies growth in manufacturing, while a figure below that shows contraction.

"Manufacturing activity improved slightly during August," said Norbert Ore, chairman of the institute. "Steel price concerns are less than they were last month. The decline of the U.S. dollar seems to have helped exports while slowing imports."