Industry's order books have taken another turn for the worse, falling to their lowest level since October, 2003.
At the same time, stocks of finished goods have mounted back to where they were that month at the start of a long depressed winter for manufacturers.
Despite this, industrialists expect their output to hold up remarkably well in the coming months, according to the CBI's industrial trends survey for August.
Export orders, though "below normal" have held steady since April, indicating that the slowing demand is confined to the home market.
The CBI said that 42 per cent of the companies' 786 manufacturers taking part in the survey described their total order books as below normal, while only 13 per cent said they were above normal
The resulting negative balance of 29 per cent is sharply higher than minus 20 per cent recorded in July. For export order books an adverse balance of minus 17 per cent is in line with each of the previous three months.
Replies to the question about output in the next three months produced a balance of three per cent expecting it to rise. That followed plus six per cent in July and small minuses in May and June.
Within that, though, motor vehicles and "other transport equipment" countered the trend with strong expectations of growth.
The CBI noted that despite this year's fastrising oil prices, overseas demand for British goods remained surprisingly strong, although the survey also showed that manufacturers are having difficulty passing on their increased costs to customers in the home market.
"Inward demand from the US and the euro zone has picked up and is keeping export orders growing," the CBI's chief economist, Ian McCafferty, said.
Indeed, recent surveys from the euro zone, Britain's biggest trading partner, suggest the region is starting to get back on its feet.
Germany's ZEW investor confidence gauge hit a 17-month high in August and Spain's leading indicator of economic activity signalled continuing growth.
The balance of respondents to the CBI survey saying their finished stocks are "more than adequate" rose to 21 per cent from 18 per cent in July, but a heavy preponderance of respondents - 59 per cent - was content that their stocks are "adequate".