French services PMI dropped to 47.8 in December (flash 47.4) from 48 in November.
The contraction in the sector adds to a poor manufacturing picture, helping composite output fall to 47.3 (flash 47) from 48.
"Persistently weak demand continues to impact on the (services) sector’s performance," says Markit, "with firms reporting continued declines in both new business and backlogs of work."
However, companies are optimistic that the situation will improve in 2014 - business expectations are "holding at a level better than those seen over much of the past year-and-a-half," says Markit.
The CAC 40 (EWQ) is -0.2%. (PR)