Wholesale Sales in Canada Rise Above Expectations

By Joel Cuttiford

Wholesale sales throughout the country advanced in June at a faster-than-expected rate on robust sales of agricultural supplies and building materials.

According to Statistics Canada, month-over-month wholesale trade rose 0.6 percent to 53.01 billion Canadian.  Economists at Royal Bank of Canada say that Traders had anticipated a 0.4 percent advance.

On a volume basis, sales rose 0.7 percent.

May’s figures were revised upward and now indicate wholesale sales rose 2.3 percent versus the original estimate of a 2.2 percent gain.

Wholesalers account for the biggest portion of the service sector.  As they generally serve as an intermediary in the distribution of merchandise, many tend to sell in large quantities to retailers, businesses and institutional clients.

Five of the seven wholesale subsectors being tracked by Statistics Canada recorded gains in June, led by catch-all miscellaneous category, up 3.1 percent to $6.88 billion Canadian.  Within miscellaneous, agricultural supplies were among the biggest contributors, as sales increased 4.9 percent to $2.04 billion Canadian.

The building materials and supplies sector rose 2.2 percent to $7.60 billion Canadian, the highest level on record.

Conversely, there was a 2.4 percent decline within the motor vehicle sector.  Excluding vehicle and auto parts sales, wholesale trade rose within the period by 1.2 percent.

Inventories also increased one percent in the wholesales sector in June, marking the sixth consecutive monthly gain.  The inventory-to sales-ratio, which measures the time required to exhaust stockpiles if sales remained at current levels, remained unchanged at 1.24:1.

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