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Wholesale Services Price Index, second quarter 2017

Released: 2017-11-21

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) rose 1.9% in the second quarter, with four of the eight subsectors posting margin gains.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Wholesale Services Price Index
Wholesale Services Price Index

The gain in the WSPI in the second quarter was led by petroleum and petroleum product merchant wholesalers (+17.5%), following a 31.3% increase in the previous quarter. Of the eight subsectors, the petroleum and petroleum product merchant wholesalers subsector recorded the largest quarterly gain.

Also contributing to the increase in the WSPI in the second quarter were miscellaneous merchant wholesalers (+4.4%), as margin gains were recorded for chemical (except agricultural) and allied products (+8.9%) and agricultural chemical and other farm supplies (+14.3%) merchant wholesalers. Margins for food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers (+2.3%) were also up, as a result of higher margins for other specialty-line food merchant wholesalers (+4.5%).

To a lesser extent, farm product merchant wholesalers (+4.2%) also posted gains.

The quarterly gain in the WSPI was primarily moderated by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories merchant wholesalers subsector (-3.0%), as a result of lower margins for truck, truck tractor and bus merchant wholesalers (-9.0%). Lower margins were also recorded for building material and supplies (-0.3%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (-0.3%) merchant wholesalers.

Margins for the personal and household goods subsector were unchanged.

Year-over-year change

The WSPI advanced 4.8% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter of 2016. This was the 15th consecutive year-over-year increase.

Petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers posted the largest year-over-year margin gain (+41.0%) since the inception of the WSPI, as a result of low margins recorded the same quarter of the previous year. The second largest year-over-year margin gain (+24.0%) was registered in the second quarter of 2014, coinciding with high natural gas prices in the winter of 2014.

Margins were also up for farm products (+8.1%), miscellaneous (+7.7%) and food, beverage and tobacco (+6.4%) merchant wholesalers.

Personal and household goods (+2.0%) and machinery, equipment and supplies (+0.8%) merchant wholesalers also posted gains.

Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories (-3.7%) and building material and supplies (-0.2%) recorded year-over-year margin declines.


  Note to readers

The Wholesale Services Price Index (WSPI) represents the change in the price of the wholesale service. The price of the wholesale service is defined as the margin price, which is the difference between the average purchase price and the average selling price of the wholesale product being priced. The WSPI is not a wholesale selling price index.

With each release, data for the previous quarter may have been revised. The series are also subject to an annual revision with the release of second quarter data of the following reference year. The indexes are not seasonally adjusted. Data are available at the Canada level only.

A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics

To celebrate Canada 150, A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics, which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), was created to showcase the key milestones in the history of Canadian producer price statistics. This historical timeline contains answers to questions such as: Who collected Canada's first statistics? What do Canadian producer price indexes measure?

Infographic: Producer Price Indexes at a Glance

The infographic, "Producer Price Indexes at a Glance," which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), demonstrates how producer price indexes for goods and services are calculated and why they are important for the Canadian economy.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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