TORONTO (Reuters) - The pace of purchasing activity in Canada slowed more than expected to hit a four-month low in January as measures of employment and supplier deliveries declined, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data released on Wednesday.
The seasonally adjusted index fell to 54.7 from 59.7 in December, its lowest since September. Analysts had projected a reading of 56.0.
The employment index fell to 51.8 from 54.0 in December, while the measure of supplier deliveries showed a deeper contraction as it fell to 41.7 from 43.8.
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 above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
The unadjusted index showed a decline in activity for a second straight month even as it rose to 49.5 from 48.2 in December.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alistair Bell