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OTTAWA, March 5 (Reuters) - Purchasing activity in Canada shrank for the second month in a row in February as employment weakened, though the overall pace of contraction moderated, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data released on Thursday.
The seasonally adjusted index rose to 49.7 from 45.4 last month, short of analysts' expectations for 50. Still, the index remained below 50, indicating a decrease in the pace of activity.
The unadjusted index picked up to 50.8 from 42.6.
Three of the index's four subcategories declined, including the measure of employment, which fell to 47.3 from 50 to hit its lowest level since June 2014. Supplier deliveries edged down to 47.3 from 47.9, while prices dropped to 63.2 from 66.7.
The inventories category was the only one to gain ground, rising to 47.4 from 46.4. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon)