France's dominant services sector contracted slightly more than first estimated in May but price pressures eased and employment continued to rise, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The HCOB France final purchasing managers index (PMI) for the services sector, compiled by S&P Global, fell to 49.3 points from 51.3 points in April, which was the highest since May 2023 and the first time since that month that the figure was above the 50 threshold.

Any figure below 50 points marks a contraction in activity, while above 50 points shows an expansion. May's flash services PMI stood at of 49.4 points.

The final composite PMI figure for May - which comprises both the services and manufacturing sectors - was also several notches lower than first thought, at 48.9 points from 50.5 points in April and 49.1 points initially estimated.

"The latest HCOB PMI figures are giving mixed messages about the state of the French services sector. Although business activity declined slightly in May, overall demand grew for the second month in a row," said Norman Liebke, economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank.

"Additionally, although at a slower pace, employment improved for another month, showing robust expectations about the future." (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by Christina Fincher)