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STOCKHOLM, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Activity in Sweden's services sector fell in September, a purchasing managers' survey showed on Tuesday, underlining recent data showing a sharp slowdown in the economy.
The Swedish service sector purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 47.3 points in the month from 50.7 points in August, compilers Silf and Swedbank said. After two months above the 50 market that separates growth from contraction, the fall took the index back to levels seen in June, which was a two-year low.
Danske Markets analyst Stefan Mellin, said the figures could help provoke another cut in interest rates by the central bank when it next meets on Oct. 24.
"This was the latest in a series of weak figures from Sweden," he said.
Sweden started the year on a strong footing, but the euro zone crisis has cast a shadow over the Nordic economy, forcing the Riksbank to cut rates to 1.25 percent in early September.
The central bank has said it expected to remain on hold until the middle of next year, but a string of weak data and a persistently strong Swedish crown have convinced the market that at least one rate cut will be necessary this year.
Another analyst, SEB's Olle Holmgren, said he did not believe the bank would cut in October.
The services index has shown activity consistent with a contraction of the sector in four of the last 6 months.
On Monday, the compilers said PMI for the manufacturing sector fell to 44.7 in September from 45.1 in the previouls month.
(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Patrick Lannin, additional reporting by Veronica Ek and Johan Sennero; editing by Patrick Graham)
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Keywords: SWEDEN PMI/SERVICES