Wholesale trade, April 2013
Wholesale sales rose 0.2% in April to $49.0 billion, mainly as a result of higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry.
In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.4% in April.
The computer and communications equipment and supplies industry leads the gain
In April, three of the seven subsectors, accounting for about half of wholesale sales, reported increases.
The largest gain in dollar terms was in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+2.6%), largely because of a 10.4% advance in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry. Sales in this industry have been unstable in recent months, alternating between large increases and decreases.
The personal and household goods subsector rose 1.6%, mainly because of strength in the pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies industry (+2.8%).
Sales rose in the miscellaneous subsector by 0.7%, its fourth consecutive advance. Within this subsector, the agricultural supplies industry increased 8.9%. The gain in the agricultural supplies industry was largely offset by a decline in the other miscellaneous industry (-8.7%).
The largest decline in dollar terms was in the motor vehicle and parts subsector (-1.9%), mainly as a result of a 2.2% decrease in the motor vehicles industry.
Food, beverages and tobacco products (-1.4%) wholesalers registered a third consecutive sales decline.
Sales in the farm products subsector (-2.3%) declined for the fourth consecutive month.
Alberta posts the largest dollar increase
Wholesalers in five provinces reported higher sales for April.
Sales in Alberta were up 1.4%, partially offsetting the decline in March.
Quebec wholesalers posted a 0.6% sales gain in April.
New Brunswick (+5.1%) posted the largest increase in percentage terms, reversing the decrease in March.
Saskatchewan (-3.5%) posted the largest sales decline, partially offsetting March's gain.
Nova Scotia (-2.2%) wholesalers reported the fifth decrease in sales in six months.
Increase in inventories
Wholesale inventories rose 0.3% in April to $61.7 billion. Inventories were up in four of the seven subsectors.
Inventory were up in the farm products subsector (+6.3%), the miscellaneous subsector (+3.4%), the personal and household goods subsector (+1.5%), and the motor vehicle and parts subsector (+0.2%).
The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.26 in April.
The inventory-to-sales ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.
Note to readers
All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.
Total wholesale sales expressed in volume are calculated by deflating current dollar values using relevant price indexes. The wholesale sales series in chained (2007) dollars is a chained Fisher volume index with 2007 as the reference year. For more information, see Sales in volume for Wholesale Trade.
The April 2013 issue of Wholesale Trade (Catalogue number63-008-X) will soon be available.
Wholesale trade data for May will be released on July 18.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; firstname.lastname@example.org).
For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Rhonda Tsang (613-951-0418; email@example.com), Distributive Trades Division.
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