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May 25, 2023

Wholesales sales fall in four of seven subsectors 

Wholesale sales excluding petroleum fell 0.1% to $85.6 billion in March with sales falling in four of the seven subsectors, says Statistics Canada. The decrease in sales was mainly led by the miscellaneous subsector and the machinery equipment and supplies subsector. Despite the monthly decrease in the sector, wholesale sales (excluding oilseeds, grains, and petroleum) were higher (6.9%) than in March 2022. The miscellaneous subsector contributed to the decline, with sales down 6.1%. The machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector also contributed to the decline, down 2% in March. Partially offsetting the decline in the wholesale sector was higher sales from the farm product subsector, with an increase of 19.1%. The building material and supplies subsector sales decreased 14.5% to $12.1 billion, with lumber, millwork, hardware, and other building supplies down 24.5 per cent to $5.8 billion. Sales increased in the majority of provinces in March, led by higher sales in Quebec (7%). Wholesale inventories rose 0.7% to $131.9 billion in March, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.52 in February to 1.54 in March.

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