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Sep. 27, 2022

Household Goods Lead Wholesale Losses

Following two consecutive months of record-high sales in May and June, wholesale sales fell 0.6 per cent in July to $80.2 billion, says Statistics Canada. Declines in the personal and household goods subsector led the losses for July, followed by the building materials and supplies. Sales fell in five of seven subsectors, representing 63 per cent of wholesale sales. Constant dollar sales fell one per cent in July. Sales of personal and household goods fell 2.6 per cent in July to $10.8 billion. This was the second consecutive month of declining sales and the fourth time in the last six months for the subsector. In the building material and supplies subsector, sales decreased for the fourth consecutive month, down 1.7 per cent to $12.8 billion in July. The decrease was predominantly due to lower sales of lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies, which fell 2.8 per cent to $6.4 billion. Exports of lumber and other sawmill products continued to decrease, down 14.6 per cent in July and down 25.9 per cent since April. Overall sales decreased in four provinces and one territory in July, representing 81 per cent of total wholesale sales. Quebec reported the largest decline, followed by Ontario and Alberta. Wholesale inventories rose 1.2 per cent to $121.5 billion in July, the sixth consecutive monthly increase. Six of the seven subsectors reported increased inventories, led by the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector. The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.49 in June to 1.51 in July.

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