The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Canadian Wholesale Services Price Index Down 0.3% in 1Q

In eight wholesale sectors, margins were down in five, up in two and unchanged in one.

The Canadian wholesale services price index decreased 0.3 percent in the first quarter. Of the eight major wholesale sectors, margins were down in five, up in two and unchanged in one.

The largest decrease in the first quarter was posted by wholesalers of farm products (-5.1 percent), as a result of lower margins by wholesalers of live animals (-26 percent) and oilseed and grains (-5.5 percent).

The second largest decrease was recorded by wholesalers of petroleum and petroleum products (-2.1 percent). Lower selling prices outpaced declines in purchase prices for crude oil, diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel, resulting in lower margins over the quarter.

Margin decreases were also registered by wholesalers of personal and household goods (-0.9 percent), miscellaneous products (-0.7 percent) and motor vehicles and parts (-0.4 percent).

Moderating the decline in the WSPI were margin increases by wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products (+1.3 percent) and building materials and supplies (+0.5 percent).

Margins were unchanged for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies in the first quarter.

The WSPI was up 2.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2014.

The year-over-year gain in the WSPI was mainly attributable to margin increases by wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products (+9 percent), petroleum and petroleum products (+7.5 percent), and building materials and supplies (+6.2 percent).

Wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco products recorded their seventh consecutive year-over-year quarterly increase. Wholesalers of red meat and meat products (+48.6 percent) led the increase in the first quarter, followed by wholesalers of fish and seafood products (+20.2 percent) and poultry and eggs (+13 percent).

In the first quarter, the margins for wholesalers of petroleum and petroleum products rose 7.5 percent year over year, with most of the increase occurring in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Year-over-year margin declines were reported for wholesalers of farm products (-3.8 percent), miscellaneous products (-1.3 percent), motor vehicles and parts (-1.1 percent), personal and household goods (-1 percent) and machinery, equipment and supplies (-0.1 percent).

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