The unadjusted Ivey PMI rose 1.1 points versus February to 57.9 in March to stand nearly 2 points higher on the year. However, seasonal factors are quite strongly positive and after adjustment for these, the headline index declined 3.3 points to 50.1, only just above the 50 growth threshold and its weakest outturn since last December.
Within the adjusted data the employment sub-index weighed in at 50.7, up only slightly from 50.3 in February and, on paper, indicative of another sluggish labour market report on Friday. Elsewhere delivery times (48.5 after 49.4) were somewhat slower than in mid-quarter while business inventories (48.6 after 49.9) were unwound at a modestly faster pace. Lastly prices (58.5 after 57.8) climbed more sharply but at a rate still well below the average over the last year.
The PMI suggests that after a very respectable first couple of months, Canadian business activity ended the first quarter on a soft note. However, first quarter GDP growth should still look quite good and BoC interest rates would seem to be headed nowhere in a hurry.
The Ivey Purchasing Managers Index measures month to month changes in dollars of purchases as indicated by a panel of purchasing managers from across Canada. The 175 participants in this survey have been carefully selected geographically and by sector of activity to match the Canadian economy as a whole. The index includes both the public and private sectors. Index panel members indicate whether their organizations activity is higher than the same as or lower than the previous month across the following five categories - purchases, employment, inventories, supplier deliveries and prices. The Ivey Purchasing Managers Index is sponsored by the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada.
The Ivey PMI is provided in two formats -- unadjusted and seasonally adjusted. The index shows responses to one question: "Were your purchases last month in dollars higher, the same, or lower than the previous month?" A figure above 50 shows an increase while below 50 shows a decrease.<br/><br/>The index measures the month to month variation in economic activity as indicated by a panel of purchasing managers. The index uses end of the month data and it covers all sections of Canada's economy. The PMI includes both the public and private sectors and is based on month end data Ivey PMI panel members indicate whether their organizations activity is higher than, the same as, or lower than the previous month across the following five categories: purchases, employment, inventories, supplier deliveries and prices. <br/>
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