Canadian businesses cut back on spending in December, according to the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (IPMI).
The monthly benchmark—which is produced by the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC)—dropped to 48.4 in December, down from 55.9 in November. This marks the first time since May the index dropped below 50.
The IPMI measures month-to-month changes in dollars spent by purchasers. It is based on figures provided by a panel of 175 procurement managers from across Canada.
On the index, a score above 50 indicates an increase, while a score below 50 shows a decrease.
The IPMI also includes data on employment, inventory, supplier deliveries and prices.
In December, the index shows that employment fell to 42.6 from 49.2. Supplier deliveries dropped from 46.9 to 42.6, while inventory levels edged up from 41.1 to 42.2.
Reduced spending did not mean that items came any cheaper: in December, prices rose from 52.5 to 53.