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Apr 15, 2024

February wholesale sales unchanged

Wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) were essentially unchanged (+0.0 percent) in February. Sales increased in four of the seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector and the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector. On an annual basis, wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain) were 1.1 percent lower in February compared with the same month one year earlier.


Wholesale sales in the building material and supplies subsector increased 0.2 percent in February to $11.9 billion, led by electrical, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning equipment and supplies (+7.5 percent). The lumber and millwork segment wholesale sales decreased 2.1 percent year over year.


A majority of the provinces reported increases in wholesale sales (excluding petroleum, petroleum products, and other hydrocarbons and excluding oilseed and grain), led by Quebec (+1.5 percent), followed by British Columbia (+2.4 per cent). Saskatchewan had the largest decline (-8.1 percent).


Wholesale inventories fell 1.0 percent to $126.9 billion, their lowest level since December 2022, and the inventory-to-sales ratio fell from 1.56 in January to 1.54 in February. 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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