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Spain's services sector resumes growth in September - PMI

A waiter attends to customers at the terrace of a restaurant in Ronda

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish services sector activity expanded slightly in September after a dip in August, with new business holding steady and companies still taking on staff, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The HCOB Spain Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) compiled by S&P Global rose to 50.5 from 49.3 in August. The 50 mark separates growth from contraction.

"The latest HCOB PMI composite numbers give Spain good ammunition to support its reputation of being one of the most resilient economies of the euro zone during these shaky times," Cyrus de la Rubia, Chief Economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank, said in the survey report.

He expects 0.1% GDP growth for Spain in the quarter and 2% growth for the full year.

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The survey showed the sector is broadly stagnating, however, and the report noted that business sentiment had dropped "quite markedly".

Spain's services sector accounts for around half of the country's economic output.

A sister survey of Spanish factory activity in August, released on Monday, showed a contraction for the sixth consecutive month.

The government sees overall economic growth at 2.1% this year while the central bank expects 2.3%, a faster pace than the other large euro zone economies. The International Monetary Fund recently raised its forecast for Spanish economic growth to 2.5%, above the government's estimate.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Hugh Lawson)