France's services sector expanded in April for the first time in almost a year, a monthly business survey showed, as demand conditions improved after a period of high inflation.

The HCOB final purchasing managers index (PMI) for the French services sector, compiled by S&P Global, improved to 51.3 points in April from 48.3 in March, better than an earlier flash estimate of 50.5 .

Any figure above 50 points signals an expansion in activity, something last seen in May 2023.

"Improving financing terms, including lower borrowing costs and stronger customer demand were the main reasons reported for better business activity across the services sector," said Norman Liebke, an economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank.

The employment sub-index rose to 53.2 from 51.5 the previous month, pointing to sustained optimism.

The final March composite PMI - which comprises both the services and manufacturing sectors - stood at 50.5, with growth exclusively driven by the service sector as industrial output, deeply stuck in a recession, saw another dire month. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; editing by Christina Fincher)