Orders placed with French industry fell by 1.1% in September after a rally of 0.8% in August, official data showed on Tuesday, as France comes under renewed pressure to tighten up its economy.
Orders placed in the three months to the end of September showed a fall of 1.1% year-over-year.
Late on Monday, the Moody's credit-rating agency downgraded French debt by one notch, saying the country faces big challenges over low growth and weak competitiveness, over structural reforms and the risk of further shocks from indebted countries in the eurozone.
According to the national statistics institute INSEE, which published the latest data on French industrial orders, September orders from abroad slipped by 0.3%.
The figures strip out orders for transportation equipment but include vehicle manufacturing.
Orders for the important car sector fell by 1.5% in the month after a rise of 0.5% in August.
The French auto industry is going through tough times, and recently the government rescued the PSA Peugeot Citroen group (IW 1000/47) with guarantees for its credit arm.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012