PARIS -- French industrial sentiment worsened in January, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the French statistical institute INSEE.

The index measuring the confidence of business leaders in the manufacturing industry fell by three points to 86, considerably below the long-term average of 100.

"Business leaders consider that their past activity was very deteriorated...and also that their production outlook deteriorates," said INSEE.

Order books were viewed as being nearly steady at very low levels, although export order books decreased slightly.

The reading for the overall business climate was steady at 87 points.

The index for the construction sector dipped to 94 points from 95, and that for retail to 87 points from 88 points.

The services sector picked up to 89 points from 87 points.

Copyright, Agence France-Presse, 2013