The manufacturing sector contracted even more in March due to subdued demand and the survey, compiled by S&P Global and CIPS UK, scored 47.9 in the month.
This is down from February’s seven month high of 49.3, whilst supplier delivery times had seen the largest improvement in more than 30-years.
The manufacturing PMI said it was a month of “two halves” as they recorded a further period of shrinkage in the industry and a score less than 50 indicates a contraction which means the sector has seen a decline for eight months in a row.
Tough market conditions have hit the manufacturing sector as there has been less orders putting a drag on production.
For the 14th month in a row foreign demand for UK manufactured goods also contracted and there is weaker demand from Europe, the US and China as the global economic conditions remain subdued.
Dr John Glen, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), said: “March was a month of two halves where supplier delivery times saw the biggest improvement for three decades but the continued weakness overall in new order levels dragged manufacturers further back into the abyss of contraction.
“It was the continuing spartan landscape in terms of marketplace opportunity that was largely to blame.”
Rob Dobson, director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “Supply chains also continued to recover from the immense pressure experienced over the past three-and-a-half years, with March seeing average vendor lead times improve to the greatest extent during the 31-year survey history.
“This should hopefully filter through to further cost reductions and lessen the disruption to production workflows in coming months.”