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Construction crews work at a downtown site in Montreal on Feb. 9, 2021.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Canadian economic activity grew in February at the fastest pace in six months as employment picked up, Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data showed on Friday.

The seasonally adjusted index rose to 60.0 from 48.4 in January, its highest since August and the first time in three months it was above the 50 threshold indicating an increase in activity.

The Ivey PMI measures the month-to-month variation in economic activity as indicated by a panel of purchasing managers in the public and private sectors from across Canada.

Canada has grappled with a harsh second wave of infections in recent months, with populous Ontario and Quebec both imposing strict restrictions in December and January to contain the spread. Those are now being loosened.

The gauge of employment rose to a four-month high at an adjusted 54.0 from 41.5 in January, while the inventories index was at 57.8, up from 56.7.

Statistics Canada is due to release the February employment report next Friday.

The unadjusted PMI rose to 63.1 from 55.7.

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