Wholesalers Benefit From High Demand

Sales of wholesale goods rose 0.5 per cent in May to $72.2 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase. Wholesalers have benefited from the increased demand for building materials, machinery, personal, and household goods. Sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies rose 0.5 per cent in May, with strong increases in sales of construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies, computer, and communications equipment and supplies. However, they were largely offset by a large drop in the sales of farm, lawn and garden, and machinery and equipment. Building material and supplies wholesalers posted their 12th increase in 13 months as sales rose 0.5 per cent to $13.1 billion. The increase came as prices for lumber and wood products rose for the sixth consecutive month (up 17.9 per cent in May), as per the Industrial Product Price Index. Sales rose specifically in Ontario (up two per cent) largely attributed to sales in the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment, and supplies industry and in British Columbia (up 4.6 per cent), credited to lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies industry. However, sales decreased in Quebec (down 1.2 per cent) largely due to the agricultural supplies industry. Overall, inventories of building material and supplies merchant wholesalers grew 5.6 per cent to $16.6 billion while personal and household goods merchant wholesalers shrank 4.7 per cent to $16.4 billion.