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Mar 17, 2023

Wholesale Sales See Increase In January

Wholesale sales rose 2.4 per cent to $84.2 billion in January, says Statistics Canada. Sales increased in six of the seven subsectors, accounting for 84 per cent of wholesale sales with strong growth in the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector leading the increase for January. Two out of the four sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies industry groups reported a rise in sales. However, the increase (10.6 per cent to $6.1 billion) of the construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment, and supplies industry group led the overall subsector growth. Sales increased in eight provinces in January, accounting for 82 per cent of national sales. Sales in British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia led the monthly increase. Wholesale inventories rose, up 1.5 per cent to $128.6 billion in January after edging up by 0.7 per cent in December. As was the case in December, higher inventories were reported in three of the seven subsectors in January. The largest increases came from the personal and household goods subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. In the building material and supplies subsector, inventory levels rose three per cent to $24.9 billion in January. Although all three component industries reported higher inventories, the most significant contributor was lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies which saw inventories increase 4.7 per cent, representing a little over two-thirds of the subsector's growth. The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.54 in December to 1.51 in January. 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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