OTTAWA, March 7 (Reuters) - The pace of purchasing activity in Canada slowed in February, driven by a decline in prices paid by companies for materials, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data released on Tuesday.
The seasonally adjusted index fell to 55.0 from 57.2 in January, though the unadjusted index rose to 55.1 from 52.3. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
On an adjusted basis, the measure of prices tumbled to 61.1 from 70.1, pointing to some relief for companies from a recent rise in commodity prices. Supplier deliveries also contracted further, falling to 45.9 from 46.6.
But the gauge of employment picked up to 54.5 from 53.5, potentially boding well ahead of the national employment report due on Friday. Inventories also saw growth, rising to 51.4 from 46.4.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama