Canada June Wholesale Trade Up 0.6 Percent

Canadian wholesale sales rose 0.6 percent in June to $53.0 billion, a third consecutive increase.

Wholesale sales rose 0.6 percent to $53.0 billion in June, a third consecutive increase. Gains in five subsectors, which together represented 69 percent of wholesale sales, more than offset a decline in the motor vehicle and parts subsector. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales rose 1.2 percent.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.7 percent.

The miscellaneous subsector, up $208 million or 3.1 percent to $6.9 billion, contributed the most in dollar terms to the gain in June. This was the sixth increase in seven months for the subsector. While all of the subsector's industries recorded higher sales, the agricultural supplies industry (+4.9 percent) and the other miscellaneous industry (+5.1) were the largest contributors to the gain. The other miscellaneous industry includes wholesalers of logs and wood chips, minerals, ores and precious metals, and second-hand goods (excluding machinery and automotive goods), as well as wholesalers not elsewhere classified.

Sales in the building material and supplies subsector, up 2.2 percent to $7.6 billion, rose for a sixth consecutive month to the highest level on record. The largest contributor to the increase was the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry (+3.7), which posted a seventh consecutive monthly gain.

For the fourth time in five months, sales increased in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector, rising 1.5 percent to $10.4 billion in June. Higher sales in the food industry (+1.4) and the cigarette and tobacco product industry (+3.9) were the largest contributors to the increase.

The farm product subsector rose 1.4 percent to $672 million, its sixth increase in seven months. Despite the gain, the subsector remained below its historical peak from April 2014.

Following the strong gain in May, sales in the motor vehicles and parts subsector declined 2.4 percent to $9.1 billion in June. All of the subsector's industries contributed to the decline, led by the motor vehicle industry (-2.6).

Sales increased in seven provinces in June. Alberta contributed the most to the gain.

Inventories rose for a sixth consecutive month in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+0.9 percent) and a fifth consecutive month in the miscellaneous subsector (+2.0).

Following two consecutive declines, inventories in the motor vehicle and parts subsector rose 0.7 percent.

The lone subsector to decline in June was the personal and household goods subsector, which edged down 0.3 percent following three consecutive monthly gains.

The inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.24 in June. The inventory-to-sales ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

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