US manufacturing sector growth slowed slightly in December after six straight monthly gains, the Institute for Supply Management said on Thursday.

The ISM purchasing managers index for December fell to 57.0 from 57.3 the previous month.

It was still the second highest reading of the year; in January 2013 the index stood at 53.1. A reading above 50 represents expansion.

Among components of the index, new orders and hiring picked up pace and prices rose more quickly,while production was slower. Producer and customer inventories contracted.

Comments from those surveyed "generally reflect a solid final month of the year, capping off the second half of 2013, which was characterized by continuous growth and momentum in manufacturing," the ISM said.

A respondent from the computer and electronics sector cited "Good overall business conditions nationally and internationally."