* PMI index 52.1 in August against 52.0 in July
* Input costs climb on rise in raw material prices
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector was marginally stronger in August than it was the previous month, a survey showed on Tuesday, with employment in the sector expanding at the fastest pace in three months.
The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index (PMI), a gauge of manufacturing business conditions, edged up to 52.1 in August after adjusting for seasonal variation from 52.0 in July.
A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.
It was the fifth straight month of expansion, though output prices slipped for a second straight month and input prices jumped the most since March.
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) said the data showed resilience in the face of recent economic shocks and that further gains were likely.
"We expect that improving U.S. demand will continue to provide a boost to the manufacturing sector for the balance of the year," RBC's chief economist, Craig Wright, said in a statement accompanying the data.
Economic growth in Canada slipped into a lower gear in the second quarter, data released on Friday showed.
Meanwhile, economic recovery in the United States faces tepid inflation and very little additional consumer appetite to spend, according to figures released on Friday.
The RBC PMI report showed that about 18 percent of companies surveyed said they hired more workers in August, while 7 percent said they reduced staff.
New orders were steady at 52.6, notching a fifth-straight month of expansion, while output, at 51.6, grew at its slowest pace since April.
The rising cost of buying goods such as oil and steel pushed input prices up to 53.2, the highest level since March. Output prices, however, had the first back-to-back monthly decrease since the data series began in October 2010 as some manufacturers lowered prices to win new business.