France's manufacturing sector contracted for the seventh month in a row and at a slightly sharper pace than initially forecast in August, a business survey showed on Friday.

HCOB's final Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the French manufacturing sector in August - compiled by S&P Global - came in at 46.0 points, slightly lower than the 46.4 points seen in an initial flash estimate.

"The intermediate goods sector is the main drag on the industry, comfortably offsetting the marginal growth seen in the consumer goods segment", said HCOB economist Norman Liebke in a press release.

Any figure below 50 points marks a contraction in activity, while a figure above 50 shows an expansion.

In a sign that French industry could be headed for a full-fledged recession, a subindex for new orders fell at an accelerated pace in August to 42.5 from 42.9 points in July.

The pessimistic outlook is increasingly affecting the mood in the job market as well, the survey showed, as a subindex measuring the recruitment mood came in at its lowest value since August 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are not many signs that suggest an improvement in manufacturing lies ahead in the coming months," Liebke said. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Hugh Lawson)