Canadian Wholesale Services Price Index Up 0.2 percent in 1Q

Five of eight major sectors reported increases.

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) was up 0.2 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. Five of the eight subsectors reported increases, two reported decreases and one was unchanged.

The gain in the first quarter was led by building material and supplies wholesalers (+1.7 percent), which were up mainly as a result of increases in metal service centers (+6.6 percent).

Also contributing to the increase were higher margins for miscellaneous wholesalers (+1.9 percent), led by paper, paper product and disposable plastic product wholesalers (+7.4 percent).

Margins for machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers rose 0.9 percent, as a result of gains in other machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers (+4.6 percent).

Farm product wholesalers (+5.2 percent) posted the largest increase, mainly as a result of higher margins for oilseed and grain wholesalers (+6.6 percent).

Moderating the increase in the WSPI in the first quarter were lower margins for petroleum and petroleum products wholesalers (-8.3 percent). Personal and household goods wholesalers (-0.6 percent) also posted a decrease.

Margins for motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories wholesalers were unchanged, as gains in new motor vehicle parts and accessories wholesalers (+2.7 percent) were offset by declines in motor vehicle (-1.8 percent) and used motor vehicle parts and accessories (-6.7 percent) wholesalers.

In the first quarter, the WSPI advanced 2.7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015, the 10th consecutive year-over-year increase. Building material and supplies wholesalers (+4.9 percent) registered the largest gain.

Margins were also up for miscellaneous (+4.5 percent), food, beverage and tobacco (+4.2 percent), machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.6 percent), and motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories (+2.6 percent) wholesalers.

Petroleum and petroleum products wholesalers (-3.7 percent) registered the lone year-over-year decrease.

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