Canada’s Ivey Purchasing Managers Index came in at 48.4 following a surprising rise to 53.7 in the previous month. The figure had been expected to post at 54, signalling expansion for the second month, following a string of five declines dating back through November. Despite the overall index showing contraction resumed, the employment measure of the PMI did not fall for the first time in nine months. Employment came in at 50 following lower releases dating back to last September when the financial crisis escalated sharply. Other measures in the index came in lower including inventory at 44.7 and supplier delivery at 42.5. The less volatile three month average of the index showed a contraction for the sixth month which would be the longest stretch since recording began in 1999. The nation’s last recession was nearly two decades ago in the early 1990s.