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China services sector growth picks up in Jan-offical PMI

BEIJING, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Growth in China's services sector accelerated in January compared with the previous month, an official survey showed on Wednesday.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 54.6 in January, compared with the previous month's reading of 54.5, and well above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

The services sector accounted for over half of China's economy last year and for the majority of its 6.7 percent growth as rising wages give Chinese consumers the opportunity to shop, travel and eat out more.

Policymakers are counting on growth in services to offset persistent weakness in exports that is dragging on the world's second-largest economy.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)