The Institute of Supply Management's headline index remained negative, showing a slightly accelerated contraction in August compared to July with the index dropping from 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent.
The break-even point is 50 percent. Above 50 percent indicates growth.
In August, the New Orders Index fell 0.9 percentage points to 47.1 percent. The Production Index fell 4.1 percentage points to 47.2 percent, showing a contraction in factory output for the first time since May 2009.
The Employment Index in the latest Manufacturing Institute of Supply Manager's Report On Business remained positive at 51.6 percent, but it was the lowest point for that component index since November 2009.
In August, eight of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. Printing and related support activities topped the growth list, followed by food, beverage and tobacco products, petroleum and coal, apparel, paper products, chemical products and miscellaneous manufacturing.