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Apr 18, 2023

Motor Vehicle Sector Leads Wholesale Sales Decrease

Wholesale sales declined 1.7 per cent to $85.6 billion in February, says Statistics Canada. Sales fell in five of seven subsectors. The decrease of sales was mainly led by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories and the food, beverage, and tobacco subsectors. Excluding motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories, wholesale sales were down one per cent. Despite the monthly decrease in the sector, wholesale sales were higher (7.4 per cent) than in February 2022. Partially offsetting the decline in the wholesale sector was the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector, which reported an increase of 1.5 per cent to $18.2 billion in February. Computer and communications equipment and supplies (3.5 per cent to $5.2 billion) and other machinery, equipment, and supplies (3.1 per cent to $4.5 billion) were the industry groups that led the subsector growth in February. Sales decreased in seven provinces in February, accounting for 87 per cent of national sales. Quebec reported the largest decline. Wholesale inventories rose 0.8 per cent to $130.2 billion in February, the third consecutive monthly increase. Increased inventories were reported in six of the seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector and the miscellaneous goods subsector. Slightly offsetting the increase of inventories of the wholesale sector, was the building material and supplies subsector, down 2.9 per cent to $23.8 billion in February. While all three industry groups reported a decline in inventories, the largest contributor to the loss was the metal service centres industry group (down 5.5 per cent to $6.1 billion), followed by the lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies industry group (down 2.7 per cent to $10.8 billion). The building material and supplies subsector accounted for the second-largest share of wholesale trade inventories at 18 per cent.

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