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Wholesale sales gained 0.8 per cent to $56.8 billion in August: StatsCan

Gains were mainly concentrated in the miscellaneous subsector and the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.


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October 25, 2016 by Canadian Plastics

Wholesale sales gained 0.8 per cent to $56.8 billion in August, boosted by the miscellaneous and machinery, equipment and supplies subsectors, a new report from Statistics Canada said.

Although sales rose in five subsectors, gains were mainly concentrated in the miscellaneous subsector and the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.

“In dollar terms, the miscellaneous subsector recorded the largest increase, up 3.9% to $7.2 billion, mostly on the strength of higher sales in the agricultural supplies industry,” StatsCan said. “Sales in this industry grew 11.8% to $2.2 billion in August, the third increase in five months. The gain in August reflected higher exports of fertilizer, pesticide and other chemical products.”

Wholesalers in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector posted the second largest increase, with sales up 1.3% to $11.4 billion, the highest level since January 2016. This was the subsector’s fourth consecutive monthly advance. “The gain in August was largely attributable to the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment industry, where sales rose 15.2% to $1.5 billion, following an 8.3% decline in July,” StatsCan said. “Canadian wholesalers in this industry import most of the machinery and equipment they sell. Imports of agricultural, lawn and garden machinery and equipment were also up in August.”

Sales also edged up in the motor vehicle and parts subsector (+0.1%), following a 1.7% increase in July. This was the fifth consecutive monthly gain for this subsector.

In August, sales increased in eight provinces, accounting for 81% of total wholesale sales. Ontario and Alberta contributed the most to the gain. “Sales in Ontario rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 0.4% to $29.1 billion in August,” StatsCan said. “Gains in four subsectors, led by the miscellaneous subsector and building material and supplies subsector, offset declines in the other subsectors.” Quebec was one of two provinces to record a decrease in August. Sales fell 1.0% to $10.4 billion, largely as a result of declines in the motor vehicle and parts subsector and building material and supplies subsector. And Alberta recorded the second largest increase in dollar terms, with sales up 2.1% to $6.2 billion, partially offsetting the 2.8% decrease in July. The advance was led by higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.