Canadian wholesale trade unchanged in July: StatsCan
Higher sales in the machinery subsector was offset by lower sales in other subsectors.
Despite help from the machinery subsector, the value of Canadian wholesale trade was unchanged at $55.4 billion in July, according to the most recent data released by Statistics Canada.
Higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsectors, representing 52% of wholesale sales, were offset by lower sales in other subsectors, StatsCan said.
In volume terms, wholesale sales decreased 0.4% in July.
The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector increased 1.0 per cent to $11.3 billion, its second consecutive increase.
The largest contributor to the increase was the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry, which grew 4.6 per cent to $3.8 billion, its highest level on record.
This increase was partially offset by the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry, which decreased 3.0 per cent to $3.7 billion, its lowest level in four months.
Following a 2.8 per cent advance in June, wholesale sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector rose 0.2 per cent to $10.3 billion in July, led by the motor vehicle industry (+0.5 per cent). For both the subsector and the industry, it was the fourth increase in five months.
Sales in the miscellaneous subsector rose 0.3 per cent to $7.0 billion, led by the chemical (except agricultural) and allied product industry (+6.5 per cent) and the other miscellaneous industry (+2.2 per cent). However, this gain was partly offset by widespread declines in the other industries in this subsector.
In dollar terms, the food, beverage and tobacco subsector had the largest decrease, down 0.5 per cent to $10.7 billion, driven by the food industry (-0.7 per cent). This was the second decline in nine months for this subsector.
Sales in the building material and supplies subsector decreased 0.5 per cent to $7.6 billion. The gain in the metal service centres industry (+2.3 per cent) was more than offset by a decline in the electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies industry (-2.3 per cent).
Wholesale sales were up in three provinces in July. Ontario recorded the largest increase in dollar terms. Gains were offset by lower sales in other provinces, led by Quebec.
Sales in Ontario rose 1.1% to $28.1 billion, a second consecutive increase, largely as a result of higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the motor vehicle and parts subsector.
In British Columbia, sales grew 1.3% to $5.3 billion, led by the miscellaneous subsector. Prince Edward Island also posted an increase (+1.6%). This was the third consecutive gain for both provinces.
After increasing 3.3% to a record high $10.0 billion in June, sales in Quebec decreased 1.4% to $9.9 billion in July. Widespread declines were recorded across subsectors.
Sales in Saskatchewan fell 3.1% to $2.2 billion, its seventh consecutive decline and the lowest level since August 2014. Lower sales in the agricultural supplies industry contributed to the decrease. This industry also contributed to lower sales in Manitoba (-0.4%). Dry weather continued to explain the declines in these provinces.
Sales in Alberta declined 0.7% to $6.7 billion, its lowest level since December 2013. Declines were widespread, led by the building material and supplies subsector.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, sales fell 11.0%, more than offsetting the 12.1% increase in June. The miscellaneous subsector contributed the most to the decline.
Lower sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector led the declines in Nova Scotia (-3.9%) and New Brunswick (-2.7%).