French business activity picked up slightly in November, a survey showed on Friday, as the euro zone's second-biggest economy battles to keep growing while international trade disputes cloud the outlook.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its preliminary composite purchasing managers index (PMI) had edged up to 52.7 points in November from 52.6 in October. Economists polled by Reuters had given an average forecast for a reading of 52.8 points.
The index moved further away from the 50 point threshold separating expansions in business from contractions.
The preliminary reading for the November manufacturing PMI came in at 51.6 points, up from 50.7 in October, while the services PMI was unchanged from the previous month at 52.9 points.
"Another solid expansion in private sector activity maintains the positive economic picture seen in France over the past few months. Moreover, another increase in new orders and a faster rise in backlogs of work points to strong underlying demand and further growth ahead," said IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr.
"A notable finding from the latest PMI survey was the broad improvement across the manufacturing sector. On the whole, there was a narrower disparity in performance compared to the service sector, with a particularly positive result seen in new orders. The latest data provide good news for a sector that has recorded relatively subdued growth for well over a year," added Kerr.