There findings for March show the sharpest fall in French private sector output for four years, which takes us back to the months after the banking crisis truly kicked in 2008.
Private sector firms in France reported a further steep decline in output during March. Moreover, the rate of contraction accelerated to the sharpest in four years. This was signalled by the Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, based on around 85% of normal monthly survey replies, falling from 43.1 in February, to 42.1.
Dragging the composite figure down was a faster decline in service sector business activity during March. The latest fall was the steepest since February 2009. Manufacturing output was also down markedly, but the pace of decline eased slightly to the slowest in three months.
The study works on the basis of any number below 50 meaning the sector contracted, and so it looks like many French businesses are experiencing difficulties.
This comes at a time of rising unemployment in France and the fact that the private sector lost 100,000 jobs last year.