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OTTAWA, May 6 (Reuters) - The pace of purchasing activity in Canada picked up in April as inventories rose but employment shrank, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data released on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted index rose to 53.1 from 50.1 in March, surpassing analysts' expectations for 52.5. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
The unadjusted index, however, tumbled to 50.6 from 57.9.
Of the four components of the index, only inventories improved, rising to 52.3 from 48.6.
The employment measure contracted to 49.9 from 50.7, mirroring the separate national jobs report on Friday that showed jobs growth stalled last month.
The prices gauge fell to 53.9 from 58.5, though that was likely welcome for companies after input prices had been boosted by the weaker Canadian dollar, which makes imports more expensive.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli