The French service sector is closing in on stagnation in July, with a Markit purchasing manager's index (PMI) figure of 48.6.
Economists had predicted a rise to just 48.3, from 47.2 last month.
Jack Kennedy, senior economist at Markit and author of the France services PMI said:
The French service sector made a further move towards stabilisation in July, with activity and new business both showing slower falls. This partly came at the cost of substantial price discounting, with average tariffs posting another sharp decline. Nevertheless, a sunnier outlook appears to be taking hold among service providers, as evidenced by future activity expectations improving to the highest level for almost a year.