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TORONTO (Reuters) - The pace of purchasing activity in Canada slowed moderately in August, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data released on Friday, but the numbers still came in stronger than analysts had expected.
The data showed the seasonally adjusted index dipping to 62.5 in August from 62.8 in July. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 58.3.
Any index reading above 50 indicates that activity picked up from the preceding month.
Analysts remained cautious, however.
"While the Ivey PMI continues to defy gravity, other measures of business confidence suggest some prudence may be warranted," David Tulk, chief Canada Macro Strategist at TD Securities, wrote in a note.
The Ivey data contrasts with other business surveys, including the RBC manufacturing PMI, which showed that the pace of growth had eased slightly in August, touching a five-month low.
Employment was higher in August than in July, according to the Ivey survey. Ivey's employment index stood at 58.6, compared with 54.3 in July. Its inventory index slipped to 53.4 in August from 55 a month earlier. Deliveries in August were slower, with that index dropping to 44.3 from 50.3. The prices index stood at 61.8, down from 64.8 in July.
The Ivey PMI's unadjusted index was at 65.2 in August, compared with 58.8 in the previous month.
Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway