Spain's services sector activity grew at a slightly faster rate in October as companies passed on cost increases via their prices, a survey showed on Monday.

The HCOB Spain Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) compiled by S&P Global rose to 51.1 from 50.5 in September. The indicator has been above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction in every month of the past year except August.

Business people surveyed by S&P Global said their operating expenses kept on rising, but most of them protected their margins by raising their own prices.

"While the wider European service sector is experiencing continuous downward pressure in business activity, Spanish companies are kicking it up a notch and reviving growth," Cyrus de la Rubia, Chief Economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank, was quoted by S&P Global as saying in its report.

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

The consistent services activity growth in recent months in Spain contributed to the overall economic growth that, at a faster than expected 0.3% in the third quarter, surpassed most large European Union economies.

Though S&P Global's sister survey on manufacturing released last week showed a seventh consecutive monthly contraction in October.

The government last month raised its economic growth forecast for this year to 2.4% from a previous 2.1%. (Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Hugh Lawson)