Wholesale Sales Slip

Wholesale sales fell 0.4 per cent in February to $78.8 billion, the first decline since July 2021, says Statistics Canada. Lower sales were posted in the personal and household goods, building material and supplies, and motor vehicle and motor vehicle accessories and parts subsectors. Sales in all other subsectors increased. Building material and supplies wholesalers recorded a 2.8 per cent drop in sales to $13.7 billion as activity in the subsector was slower than normal in February. While the price of softwood lumber (the largest component of the subsector) increased and exports grew modestly, overall sales were lower. The decline reflected lower sales among small- and medium-sized wholesalers in the subsector, as larger companies reported increases. Sales declined in six provinces and two territories in February, comprising 82.4 per cent of total wholesale sales. Ontario reported the largest decline, followed by Quebec and Alberta. Higher sales in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba dampened the national decline. Volumes of wholesale goods sold fell 1.4 per cent in February.