May 7, 2020 / 2:39 PM / 24 days ago

Canada's Ivey PMI slumps to record low in April

FILE PHOTO: A view of Yonge and Dundas Square, as the number of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continue to grow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian purchasing activity slowed to its weakest pace on record in April, Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data showed on Thursday, a month when non-essential business activity was halted across the country due to the coronavirus crisis.

The seasonally adjusted index fell to 22.8 in April from 26.0 in March, below analysts’ expectations for 25.0.

The Ivey PMI measures the month to month variation in economic activity as indicated by a panel of purchasing managers from across Canada. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the pace of activity.

Before the March data, the historic low for the index had been set during the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009 at 42.1.

The gauge of employment fell in April to an adjusted 22.9 from 26.8 in March, while the supplier deliveries index edged up to 18.2 from 17.7.

The unadjusted PMI fell to 23.6 from 28.2.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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