A PMI reading above 50 suggests expansion in the sector. The latest fall was the first since March.
New orders declined in August, ending a seven-month sequence of gains. Consequently, firms shed staff, extending the trend to 39 months. Firms' output expectations for the year ahead also weakened with confidence falling to its lowest level since last December and well below the survey-average.
Output prices declined sharply due to competitive pressures and the rate of decrease accelerated for a second month running to its fastest pace in over a year. Factory-gate prices have fallen for 37 months. Input prices rose at the slowest pace since April.
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