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Canadian wholesale sales increased 0.1 percent to C$54.2 billion (US$46.7 billion) in October, according to Statistics Canada. Gains were recorded in five of seven subsectors, representing 68 percent of wholesale sales.
In volume terms, wholesale sales were down 0.1 percent.
Sales by Subsector
In October, the farm product subsector recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, rising 13.5 percent to C$815 million (US$701.5 million), its highest level on record. The Raw Materials Price Index recorded a seasonally unadjusted gain of 24.6 percent in the price of live animals in October compared with the same month last year.
Sales rose 0.9 percent to C$6.9 billion (US$5.9 billion) in the miscellaneous subsector, a third consecutive increase. The agricultural supplies industry (+5.8 percent) accounted for most of the subsector's gain.
Sales increased in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector for a third consecutive month, rising 0.4 percent to C$11.7 billion (US$10.1 billion). Gains in the construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry (+3.1 percent) offset declines elsewhere in the subsector.
The building material and supplies subsector increased for a 10th consecutive month, rising 0.4 percent to C$8.1 billion (US$7 billion). The electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies industry (+1.9 percent) led the gain, increasing for an eighth consecutive month to reach its highest level on record.
Sales decreased 1.2 percent in the personal and household goods subsector, led by an 8.1 percent decline in the toiletries, cosmetics and sundries industry.
Sales by Province
In October, wholesale sales were up in five provinces, together representing 70 percent of total wholesale sales in Canada. Saskatchewan contributed the most to the gain.
Sales in Saskatchewan rose for a third consecutive month, increasing 5.4 percent to C$2.2 billion (US$1.9 billion) on the strength of gains in the miscellaneous subsector.
Following two consecutive declines, sales in Manitoba rose 3.9 percent to C$1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion). The farm product subsector and the miscellaneous subsector led the gain.
Ontario recorded a seventh consecutive monthly increase, as sales edged up 0.2 percent to C$26.5 billion (US$22.8 billion) in October. Several subsectors contributed to the gain, led by the building material and supplies subsector.
Quebec slipped to its second highest level on record in October as sales decreased 1.0 percent to C$9.8 billion (US$8.4 billion). The food, beverage and tobacco subsector contributed the most to the decline.
After two consecutive monthly gains, sales in Newfoundland and Labrador declined 6.1 percent to C$468 million (US$402.8 million).
Inventories recorded their 10th consecutive increase in October, up 1.2 percent to C$68.2 billion (US$58.7 billion). Gains were recorded in six of seven subsectors, with the sole decline in the miscellaneous subsector.
The largest gain in dollar terms was recorded in the building material and supplies subsector (+2.6 percent), a second consecutive increase.
Inventories grew for a third consecutive month in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+1.5 percent), while inventories in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector (+1.7 percent) rose for an eighth consecutive month.
The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.25 in September to 1.26 in October. 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.
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