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Canadian Wholesale Sales Up 1.1% in February

Wholesale sales in Canada rose 1.1 percent to C$50.7 billion (US$45.9 billion) in February, rising for the second consecutive month. Gains were recorded in all subsectors led by motor vehicle and parts.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.8 percent in February.

Sales by Subsector

The largest sales increase was observed in the motor and vehicle parts subsector, rising 3 percent following two consecutive monthly declines. The gain was led by the motor vehicle industry (up 4.7 percent). Stronger exports, imports and manufacturing sales were also recorded for motor vehicles and parts industry.

The second largest increase in dollar terms occurred in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (up 0.8 percent). The computer and communications equipment and supplies industry led the increase (up 2.3 percent), posting a second consecutive monthly gain.

Sales increased 0.7 percent in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector, led by the food industry (up 0.4 percent) and the cigarette and tobacco industry (up 5.9 percent) contributing equally to the gain. This was the fourth increase in five months for the subsector.

Sales increased 0.9 percent in the building material and supplies subsector, a second consecutive monthly increase.

These gains did not offset the declines recorded in November and December 2013.

In the miscellaneous subsector sales rose 0.8 percent. This was the fifth increase in six months for this subsector.

Sales by Province
Sales increased in eight provinces in February, which together accounted for 94 percent of wholesale sales in Canada. Ontario accounted for most of the growth.

Following two monthly declines, sales in Ontario rose 1.5 percent in February. Higher sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector accounted for most of the increase

Sales rose in Quebec (up 0.9 percent) for a second consecutive month. The food, beverage and tobacco subsector was the main contributor to the increase.

Sales in Alberta rose 1.1 percent for a second consecutive monthly increase.

Sales in Manitoba recorded a third increase in four months (up 2.7 percent), offsetting the decline in January.

Following an increase in January, sales declined in Saskatchewan (down 0.6 percent).    The miscellaneous subsector and the farm product subsector were the main contributors to the decrease.

Sales decreased 0.5 percent in Nova Scotia, the third decline in four months


Inventories rose 0.4 percent to C$62.4 billion (US$56.5 billion) in February. Gains were recorded in four of seven subsectors, representing 55 percent of wholesale inventories.

The largest gains in dollar terms were in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (up 1.7 percent) and the motor vehicle and parts subsector (up 2.7 percent). This was the second consecutive monthly increase for both subsectors.

Following two consecutive monthly gains, inventories fell 1.4 percent in the personal and household goods subsector and 0.7 percent in the building materials and supplies subsector.

The inventory-to-sales ratio fell from 1.24 in January to 1.23 in February. The inventory-to-sales ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

For more information, download the PDF below.

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