Statistics Canada: Agricultural products, machinery/electronics lead sector
June 10, 2008
Wholesale sales in Canada continued their upward trend, posting strong growth for the fourth straight year in 2007.
Increased demand for agricultural products in the other products"sector led the growth with its best showing since 2003, according to "Wholesale Trade: The Year 2007 in Review,"a recently released report from Statistics Canada. Machinery and electronic equipment sales, which accounts for 21 percent of wholesale sales, also contributed by posting gains higher than total wholesale growth.
Nationally, wholesale revenues increased 5.5 percent to $517.8 billion. Since 2002, the rate of wholesale sales growth has averaged 5 percent, almost double growth for the economy as a whole, which posted average growth of 2.7 percent.
In addition, growth in wholesale industries contributed to job creation across Canada in 2007. Wholesalers added 759,000 workers, which equals 5.3 percent of total employment.
This excerpted piece from the Statistics Canada study highlights the performance of wholesale industries in Canada for 2007. (Unless otherwise specified, all data are in current Canadian dollars; they have not been adjusted for inflation.)
'Other Products' Nearly one-eighth of Canada's wholesale sales in 2007 were in the "other products"sector. The sector includes agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, animal feed and other farm supplies as well as recycled materials and paper products. This sector has grown at an average rate of 7.6 percent annually since 2002; in 2007, it posted a growth rate of 10.5 percent, with sales exceeding $63.6 billion.
Much of this growth was due to increased sales of agricultural materials, like fertilizer and animal feed, resulting from increased global demand. Higher demand and higher prices for Canadian crops on the global market led to increased profits in the sector.
Machinery and Electronic Equipment The largest wholesale sector in Canada continued to show better-than-average gains in 2007, posting a growth rate of 7 percent over 2006. Though solid, this figure represents a slowdown over the previous two years, which saw growth of 8.6 percent in 2006 and 11 percent in 2005. Sales in the machinery and electronic equipment totaled $110.4 billion.
Decreasing investment in mining and oil and gas extraction companies contributed to this slowdown. Investment in these areas declined by 6.4 percent in 2007, though investment in other areas helped offset the loss.
A portion of the growth can be attributed to the rebounding of the personal computer market since 2005. Sales of computers and other electronic equipment recorded their highest numbers since 1999 even as prices have declined.
Personal and Household Goods Consumer spending is up across Canada. Low inflation and interest rates coupled with strong employment and income levels have provided for a positive marketplace for consumers. As such, the highly consumer-driven sector of personal and household goods is also up 7.2 percent from 2006.
In addition, sales of pharmaceuticals aided the sector's growth. Between October 2006 and September 2007, Canadians purchased a total of 448 million prescriptions, spending more than $20.7 billion.
By Province The prairie provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta led the way for provincial wholesale growth across Canada, posting an average growth rate of 9.2 percent annually since 2002 compared with 5 percent nationally.
After a weak showing in 2006, Saskatchewan posted the highest rate of growth among the provinces for 2007, up 19.6 percent. Sales within the province followed the national patterns, with growth driven by the "other products"and machinery and electronic equipment sectors. The provincial growth rates, however, solidly outpaced national