Canada's Ivey PMI plunges more than expected in March

TORONTO, April 7 (Reuters) - Canadian economic activity contracted at a pace that was much weaker than expected in March, Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data showed on Tuesday, in the latest sign of the damage to the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The seasonally-adjusted index tumbled to 26.0 in March from 54.1 in February, short of analysts’ expectations for 41.0.

The Ivey PMI measures the month-to-month variation in economic activity as indicated by a panel of purchasing managers from across Canada. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the pace of activity.

The gauge of employment fell to an adjusted 26.8 from 54.7 in March, while the supplier deliveries index was down at 17.7 from 41.8.

The unadjusted PMI slumped to 28.2 from 53.2. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Nick Zieminski)