The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released its industrial order books balance on Monday. The CBI industrial order books balance rose to -14 in March from-17 in February, in line with expectations.
The index reflected weakness in the food and drink sector.
Export orders remained unchanged in March.
"March has been a mixed month for the UK's manufacturers. Whilst total order and export books remained steady, a drop in output reflected some volatility in the food and drink sector. Reassuringly, manufacturers expect a swift turnaround in activity," the CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith said.
"While the Budget included several policies that should drive growth, the absence of further measures to support innovation, and research and development, was a missed opportunity to boost investment," she added.