France's reading in Markit's latest purchasing managers' index falls to a seven-month low, suggesting accelerating economic contraction.
Unexpected second-quarter economic growth of 0.5% in France, 0.7% in Germany sees eurozone grow overall 0.3%, ending18-month recession.
France is in a second recession in four years after the economy shrank by 0.2% in the last quarter of 2012 and in the first quarter of 2013.
European Union says France has slipped back into recession and will need two more years to bring its budget deficit under control.
Survey says business activity shrank in March at fastest pace in four years, probably plunging euro zone's second-biggest economy into a recession.
The country's industrial production dropped by 1.2% in January as carmakers Peugeot Citroen and Renault reported lower sales.
France is poised to drag the eurozone into a fourth quarter of recession as business activity slumps in the region's second-largest economy.
Hopes of economic recovery in eurozone thrown into doubt after figures confirm its two largest economies have performed worse than forecast.
Estimate from the Bank of France differs from national statistics office INSEE which suggested that France just averted recession last year.
French economy had been expected to start its slide into recession in the third quarter but GDP unexpectedly rose 0.2 percent.
Bank of France says French economy set to slip into a shallow recession in the third quarter, dampening government hopes for 0.3% growth in 2012.
Like the rest of the eurozone countries, France is entering a recession, according to the latest quarterly report released this month by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). Mediapart co-founder Laurent Mauduit argues here why the INSEE report is both an indictment of President Nicolas Sarkozy's economic policies and a warning for the Left opposition, ahead of next year's presidential elections, that austerity measures do nothing but fuel the crisis.