U.S. manufacturing grew in September for the 26th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 27th straight month, supply executives said Monday. The latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business registered 51.6 percent, a 1 percent increase from August, which shows expansion accelerating slightly. The Institute for Supply Management\'s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said in a release that the Production Index climbed to 51.2 percent, after contracting in August for the first time since May 2009. The Production Index was 51.2 percent, up from 48.6 percent in August, the ISM report said. Employment rose for the 24th consecutive month, growing faster in September than August with the index at 3.8 percent from 51.8 percent. The New Orders index came in at 49.6 percent, unchanged from a month ago and in contraction for three consecutive months. \"Comments from (survey) respondents generally reflect concern over the sluggish economy, political and policy uncertainty in Washington, and forecasts of ongoing high unemployment that will continue to put pressure on demand for manufactured products,\" said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. In September, 12 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth, including wood products, petroleum and coal products, food, beverage and tobacco products, apparel, non-metallic mineral products and machine and miscellaneous manufacturing. Primary metals, textile mills, furniture and related products, fabricated metal products, paper products and electrical equipment, showed declines, the report said.