Wholesale Sales Decline

Wholesale sales fell 2.1 per cent in July, the largest decline since April 2020, says Statistics Canada. Quebec led the declines, accounting for over three-quarters of the drop in national wholesale sales. Additionally, July's fall was the largest since February 2016, with sales down 2.1 per cent as a result of a 12.4 per cent drop in sales of building materials and supplies, which was due to lower prices of lumber. In July 2021, the price of lumber and other wood products decreased 23 per cent from May. Specifically exports of forestry products, building, and packaging materials fell 12.7 per cent. However, the largest gains came from the motor vehicle, motor vehicle parts, and the accessories subsector (up 1.8 per cent). Also, the value of wholesale inventories rose 0.6 per cent in July to a new all-time high of $95.7 billion, with building material and supplies merchant wholesalers' inventories up 3.6 per cent; machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers' inventories up 1.3 per cent; and inventories of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, and accessories down 4.2 per cent.