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Margins for products sold by Canadian wholesalers, as measured by the Wholesale Services Price Index, were up 0.3 percent in the third quarter, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
Overall, four of the eight subsectors posted margin gains, while the remaining subsectors posted declines.
Building materials and supplies merchant wholesalers (+3.7 percent) were the largest contributors to the quarterly increase, as a result of higher margins for metal service centers (+7.9 percent), plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies (+6.3 percent), and electrical wiring and construction supplies (+6.5 percent) merchant wholesalers.
Margins for motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers rose 3.2 percent, mainly due to new and used automobiles and light-duty truck merchant wholesalers (+8.6 percent).
Higher margins for petroleum and petroleum products (+1.9 percent) and personal and household goods (+0.3 percent) merchant wholesalers also contributed to the gain in the quarter.
Moderating the quarterly increase in the WSPI was machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (-1.7 percent), with computer, computer peripheral and pre-packaged software (-9.9 percent) merchant wholesalers contributing the most to the decline in margins for this subsector.
Lower margins for miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (-1.4 percent) also moderated the quarterly increase in the WSPI.
Farm products merchant wholesalers recorded the largest decrease (-6percent) in the third quarter, mostly due to lower margins at oilseed and grain merchant wholesalers (-8.1 percent).