* Ivey PMI seasonally adjusted index rises to 58.9 from 52.8
* Analysts expected an adjusted reading of 53.6
* Employment reading rises to 53.8 after Dec dip
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Feb 6 Purchasing activity in Canada
rose more than expected in January, according to Ivey Purchasing
Managers Index data released on Wednesday, an early upbeat
signal for the economy this year.
The seasonally adjusted index rose to 58.9 in January from
52.8 in December. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an
adjusted reading of 53.6.
"The improvement in global confidence to start the year is
an encouraging development and follows at least a partial detour
around the fiscal cliff in the United States and a period of
relative calm across the euro zone," David Tulk, chief Canada
macro strategist at TD Securities, wrote in a research note.
Tulk noted the data's three-month moving average stabilized
at 53.1 in January, and predicted the index could pick up
further in coming months.
The Ivey employment index rose to 53.8 from 49.2 in
December, its lowest reading since May of last year.
A reading below 50 indicates that the pace of activity
contracted from the previous month.
Market players are now awaiting official employment numbers
for January due on Friday. Analysts expect that Canada's labor
market likely came back to earth last month after some
gravity-defying job gains at the end of 2012, and forecast
almost no new hiring and a rise in the unemployment rate.
The seasonally unadjusted Ivey PMI index for January rose to
54.8, from 43.1.
The direction was in line with the RBC Canadian
Manufacturing PMI report, which last week showed Canadian
manufacturing growth eked out a modest gain in January after
the economy appears to have ended 2012 on flat note.
The Bank of Canada has forecast a sluggish start to 2013,
but said growth will gather momentum throughout the year as
business investment and exports strengthen and temporary energy
sector disruptions end. Annual growth in 2013 should be 1.9
percent, compared with the previous 2.2 percent forecast, the