Canadian wholesale sales up in January: StatsCan
The motor vehicle and parts subsector contributed the most to the gain, the agency said.
Helped by strong gains in the automotive sector, Canadian wholesale sales hit a record in January 2017, a new report from Statistics Canada said.
The news wasn’t all good, however, as sales in the machinery and equipment subsector fell for the first time in six months.
“Wholesale sales rose 3.3% to a record high $59.1 billion in January,” StatsCan said. “This was the largest monthly percentage gain since November 2009, when wholesale sales rose 3.8%. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing 55% of total wholesale sales. The motor vehicle and parts subsector contributed the most to the gain.”
Sales in the motor vehicle industry rose 20% to a record high, the agency said. “There were higher imports and exports of motor vehicles and parts in January, and motor vehicle manufacturing sales increased for a second consecutive month,” it said.
The personal and household goods subsector rose 3.0% to $8.5 billion, on the strength of gains in four of six industries in the subsector, StatsCan also said.
“The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (-0.3%) declined for the first time since September 2016,” the report said. “Declines in the computer and communications equipment and supplies (-2.1%) and the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment (-4.7%) industries were partially offset by gains in the other machinery, equipment and supplies industry (+3.3%).”
Wholesale sales rose in six provinces in January, representing 77% of total wholesale sales. In dollar terms, Ontario accounted for most of the gain. “Sales in Ontario rose 6.0% to a record $30.5 billion in January, on the strength of higher sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector,” StatsCan said. “This was the first increase in three months and the largest monthly dollar gain in Ontario since September 2003.”
In the other provinces, sales in Quebec edged down 0.1% to $10.7 billion, with declines in the building material and supplies subsector and machinery, equipment and supplies subsector offset gains in other subsectors; Alberta recorded a fourth consecutive increase, with sales up 2.0% to $6.5 billion; sales in both Manitoba (+2.6%) and New Brunswick (+1.7%) rose for the fourth time in nine months; sales in Saskatchewan declined for the first time in three months, down 3.5% to $2.1 billion in January, offsetting the 3.5% gain in December; wholesale sales in Newfoundland and Labrador declined for the second consecutive month (down 4.8% to $373.1 million in January), primarily on lower sales in the miscellaneous subsector; in Nova Scotia, sales increased 6.0% to a record $838.2 million, a second consecutive advance and the largest monthly dollar gain since June 2015; in British Columbia, sales grew 0.8% to a record $5.9 billion, a fourth consecutive increase, with the motor vehicle and parts subsector leading the advance; and sales in Prince Edward Island (-1.0%) were down for the fourth time in five months.