TORONTO, April 4 - The pace of purchasing activity in Canada cooled in March and a measure of employment contracted for a third straight month, the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index showed on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted index fell to 55.2 from 57.2 in February, short of analysts' expectations for an increase to 59. The unadjusted index rose to 61.8 from 57.8.
A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
Ivey's seasonally adjusted employment index remained in contraction territory at 49.7, though the figure was slightly better than February's 49.
The inventories index shrank to 49.2, while supplier deliveries fell to 43.8. The prices gauge jumped to 72.2.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway