Canadian wholesale sales rose 1.8 percent to C$55.9 billion (US$38.3 billion) in November, according to Statistics Canada. Sales were higher in four of seven subsectors, led by motor vehicle and parts. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales were up 1.2 percent in November. In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 1.6 percent in November.
Sales were up in four of seven subsectors in November, accounting for 65 percent of wholesale sales, led by stronger sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector.
The motor vehicle and parts subsector recorded the largest gain in dollar terms in November, with sales rising 4.8 percent to C$10 billion (US$6.9 billion). A 6.5 percent increase in the motor vehicle industry, the first since June 2015, accounted for most of the gain. Exports of motor vehicles and parts and sales by motor vehicle manufacturers were also higher in November.
Sales in the miscellaneous subsector rose 4.1 percent to C$7.5 billion (US$5.1 billion) in November, the highest level on record. The largest contributors to the gain were the agricultural supplies industry (+10.9 percent) and the other miscellaneous industry (+3.1 percent). Exports of fertilizer, pesticide and other chemical products also rose in November.
Sales in the building material and supplies subsector increased 2.8 percent to C$7.8 billion (US$5.3 billion), more than offsetting the combined declines of September and October. Gains in all industries contributed to the increase in November.
Exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials also rose in November.
The food, beverage and tobacco subsector increased 1.6 percent to C$10.8 billion (US$7.4 billion), primarily as a result of gains in the food industry (+1.7 percent), which accounted for over 90 percent of sales in this subsector.
Following two months of gains, sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector declined 1 percent to C$11.2 billion (US$7.7 billion).
Sales were up in every province in November. In dollar terms, Ontario contributed the most to the increase.
Following three consecutive declines, sales in Ontario rose 2.3 percent to C$28.2 billion (US$19.3 billion) in November. Gains were widespread across subsectors, led by motor vehicle and parts.
In Quebec, sales increased 1.3 percent to C$10.1 billion (US$6.9 billion), their highest level on record. The food, beverage and tobacco subsector and the miscellaneous subsector led the gains.
Sales in British Columbia rose 1.8 percent to C$5.3 billion (US$3.6 billion), mostly offsetting the declines recorded in September and October, and brought the province to its second highest level on record. The building material and supplies subsector contributed the most to the increase.
In Alberta, sales rose for the first time in five months, up 1.1 percent to C$6.4 billion (US$4.4 billion), on widespread gains across subsectors. Despite the gain in November, year-to-date sales for Alberta were 5.1 percent lower compared with the same period in 2014.
Saskatchewan recorded a second consecutive increase in November, up 1.5 percent to C$2.4 billion (US$1.6 billion), its highest level in 11 months. The agricultural supplies industry in the miscellaneous subsector led the gain.
Sales in Nova Scotia rose 1.7 percent to C$814 million (US$556.7 million), their highest level in five months.
Wholesale inventories edged down 0.2 percent to C$73 billion (US$49.9 billion) in November. Inventories were down in three of seven subsectors, together representing 63 percent of wholesale inventories, with the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector accounting for most of the decrease.
Inventories in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector declined for the second time in three months, down 1.3 percent to C$21.1 billion (US$14.4 billion). The drop in November brought inventories in this subsector to their lowest level since May 2015.
In November, inventories in the building material and supplies subsector (-0.4 percent) declined for an eighth consecutive month, while inventories in the personal and household goods subsector (-0.3 percent) recorded their second decrease in three months.
Following a decline in October, inventories in the miscellaneous subsector rose 0.9 percent, while inventories in the motor vehicle and parts subsector (+0.7 percent) increased for a sixth consecutive month, reaching their highest level on record.
The inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 1.33 in October to 1.31 in November. 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.