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French services sector shrinks in January: PMI

[PARIS] France's service sector contracted slightly in January, a survey showed on Wednesday, reversing the previous month's growth and suggesting a weak start to 2015 for the eurozone's second-largest economy.

Markit's purchasing managers index for the service sector, which accounts for around two-thirds of the economy, fell in January to 49.4 from 50.6 in December, down from a preliminary reading of 49.5.

That put the index back below the 50-point line denoting expansions in activity.

"France's dominant service sector faltered at the start of 2015, with activity falling slightly to reverse December's marginal growth," said Markit senior economist Jack Kennedy.

"This reflected a subdued demand environment and generally weak economic conditions, which weighed on new business intakes."

Markit's composite PMI index, which includes the services and manufacturing sectors, fell to 49.3 from 49.7 from the previous month, below a preliminary reading of 49.5.

REUTERS