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Jun 19, 2023

April Wholesale sales decline

Wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) fell 1.4% to $80.9 billion in April, says Statistics Canada. Sales fell in four of the seven subsectors. The decrease in sales was mainly led by the miscellaneous and the food, beverage, and tobacco product subsectors. Despite the monthly decrease in the sector, wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) were higher (+1.4%) than in April 2022. Sales decreased in the majority of the provinces during the month, led by lower sales in Ontario, followed by Quebec and Alberta. Wholesale sales in Ontario fell 1.4% to $41.4 billion in April. Sales declined in six of seven subsectors, with the largest decrease coming from the personal and household goods subsector (-4.1% to $6.9 billion), followed by the miscellaneous subsector (-6.1% to $4.6 billion). Sales in Quebec decreased by 3.0% to $14.7 billion in April. The decline was led by a decrease of sales in the miscellaneous (-16.3% to $1.5 billion) and food (-3.3% to $3.4 billion) subsectors. Wholesale inventories (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) fell 0.4% to $129.3 billion in April, the first decline since November 2022. A decrease of inventories was reported in four of the seven subsectors in April 2023, led by the building material and supplies subsector (-2.2%), followed by the personal and household goods subsector (-1.0%) and the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector (-0.5%). The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.58 in March to 1.60 in April. This ratio is a measure of the time (in months) required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current levels.

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