French industrial sentiment fell to a 3-year low in October as order books thinned and manufacturers\' outlook for the future darkened, the national statistics institute INSEE said Tuesday. The composite industrial sentiment index dropped five points from last month to 85 points in October, moving further from its long-term average of 100 points. The composite business sentiment indicator, which also includes services, construction and wholesale and retail sales, dropped by one point over the month to also hit 85 points. A small gain in the retail sector was outweighed by a dip in the services sector and the plunge in industrial sentiment. INSEE said the managers of industrial companies surveyed \"characterised their past activity as very weak\" and \"were also pessimistic, but in a less pronounced manner, about their own perspectives in the coming three months.\" French manufacturers\' outlook about their sector also continued to worsen, while they considered their order books to be \"depleted\". At the worst of the global financial crisis the French industrial sentiment index fell to 69 points in March 2009.