Canada’s Ivey purchasing managers’ index rose for the first time in five months in December, with the survey also suggesting hiring prospects are dimming.
The index climbed to 52.8 on a seasonally adjusted basis from November’s 47.5, according to a statement on the website of Western University’s business school in London, Ontario. Readings of more than 50 indicate purchasing by governments and companies advanced. Economists forecast a reading of 49.8.
Three of the report’s four sub-categories suggested weakening activity, including a decline in the employment measure to 49.2 from 55.1 and a drop in the inventory index to 42.4 from 55.6.
The report adds to evidence of a modest economic rebound at the end of last year after output growth slowed to a 0.6 percent annual pace in the third quarter. The country’s unemployment fell to a four-year low of 7.1 percent in December while inflation slipped to 0.8 percent, below the central bank’s target range.
“The wider economic backdrop remains subdued,” said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Securities unit.
Ivey’s supplier delivery measure was little changed at 47.8 in December. The price reading fell to 61.3 from 62.9, with the figure greater than 50 showing that prices rose on the month.