The RBS/NTC EU Manufacturing PMI dropped slightly to 57.4 in July from the near six-year high of 57.7 in June.
Production levels continued to increase at a strong rate in July, rising for the fourteenth successive month. Led by Germany for the eighth straight month, strong output growth was recorded across the European Union.
New orders rose for the fourteenth consecutive month, marking the third strongest increase during the past six years. A slight reduction in growth of new orders was mainly caused by a moderation in growth of domestic demand.
Manufacturers were again able to raise their output prices. The rise was the strongest recorded since the series began in late-2002. Higher output price inflation was in part driven by the need for manufacturers to pass higher costs on to customers.
"Growth in the manufacturing sector has held up surprisingly well in the wake of the World Cup, with demand from domestic and foreign markets continuing to rise at buoyant rates,” Royal Bank of Scotland Head of GBM Economics & Rates Research, Dr Kevin Gaynor said. ”Although down slightly on June's six-year peak, the PMI remains consistent with growth of euro area industrial production of close to 5% per annum.”