The CBI survey showed how the total order book balance rose in line with expectations to -14 this month, up from -16 in July.
The export order book balance rebounded to -1 from July's -12, a sharp dip from the -2 recorded in June.
This survey's order book balances are almost always in negative territory, even when other measures show growing orders.
"Prospects for the manufacturing sector remain very positive. Demand is steadily improving, helped by the revival of export orders after some weakness last month, and manufacturers expect slightly strong production growth in the three months ahead," said the CBI's head of economic analysis, Lai Wah Co.
"However, inflationary pressures within the sector have not fully faded, and firms are predicting a faster rise in output prices over the next quarter," she continued.
The domestic prices index jumped to its highest since May at +11 versus +5, while output expectations rose to +10 from +6.