Of 456 manufacturers, 15% reported that order books were above normal, while 36% stated that order levels were below normal. The balance of -21% represents the lowest return since the end of last year (December -23%).
Export orders have weakened with manufacturers reporting a balance of -17%. While still above the long-run average of -21%, this is the lowest figure reported since January 2012 (-26%).
Output is expected to be flat over the next three months, following two previous surveys in which manufacturers expected output to increase (June +7%, July +11%).
Output prices are also expected to be flat over the coming quarter for the third-consecutive month, with a balance of +1%.
Stock levels are below average, with a balance of +9% saying stocks are at least adequate to meet demand, the lowest figure since June 2011 (+3%).