Canadian wholesale sales see a slight turnaround

OTTAWA — Canadian wholesale sales bounced back in October and grew 1.1 per cent to $56.6 billion for the month after pulling back in September, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

The result was nearly double the 0.6 per cent gain for October that economists had expected, according to Thomson Reuters, and made up for most of a 1.5 per cent decline in September.

CIBC economist Nick Exarhos said the gains were widespread with autos and building materials contributing to most of the increase.

“Our call for monthly GDP before today’s figures was for a 0.1 per cent dip in output for October, and we might need to revise that higher if retail figures released later this week also come in on the stronger side,” Exarhos wrote in a brief report.

Statistics Canada is expected to release October retail sales along with November inflation figures on Thursday and gross domestic product figures for October on Friday.

Wholesale sales rose in five of the seven subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada, led by the building material and supplies, the motor vehicles and parts, and the food, beverage and tobacco subsectors.

Wholesale sales increased 0.9 per cent in volume terms.

The sales in the building material and supplies subsector gained 2.8 per cent to come in at $7.6 billion helped by sales of lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies.

The motor vehicle and parts subsector rose 1.8 per cent to $11.3 billion, while the food, beverage and tobacco subsector gained 1.7 per cent to $10.9 billion.

Regionally, wholesale sales gained ground in four provinces, with Quebec and Ontario recording the largest dollar-value increases.

Quebec climbed 3.4 per cent to $10.4 billion for the month, while Ontario increased 0.9 per cent to $29.3 billion.

Six provinces saw wholesale sales fall in October led by Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

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