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Wholesale trade, October 2017

Released: 2017-12-20

Wholesale sales — Canada

$63.0 billion

October 2017

1.5% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — N.L.

$392.5 million

October 2017

-2.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — P.E.I.

$83.8 million

October 2017

8.2% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — N.S.

$803.8 million

October 2017

1.2% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — N.B.

$562.6 million

October 2017

1.5% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Que.

$11,541.8 million

October 2017

3.2% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Ont.

$32,186.2 million

October 2017

0.5% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Man.

$1,685.4 million

October 2017

3.2% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Sask.

$2,388.5 million

October 2017

10.1% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Alta.

$6,790.1 million

October 2017

1.4% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — B.C.

$6,497.6 million

October 2017

1.1% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Y.T.

$18.7 million

October 2017

2.4% increase

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — N.W.T.

$41.9 million

October 2017

-43.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales — Nvt.

$14.8 million

October 2017

-33.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Wholesale sales increased 1.5% to $63.0 billion in October, more than offsetting the 1.1% decline in September. Gains were reported in six of seven subsectors, together representing 81% of total wholesale sales. The machinery, equipment and supplies and the personal and household goods subsectors contributed the most to the increase.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 1.2%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Wholesale sales increase in October
Wholesale sales increase in October

Sales increase in six of seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector

In dollar terms, the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector reported the largest increase in October, as sales rose 5.2% to $12.7 billion. Sales were up in all four industries, led by the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment industry (+19.0%) following a 9.7% decline in September.

Sales in the personal and household goods subsector rose 3.4% to $8.9 billion as all industries posted gains in October. Much of October's increase was attributable to higher sales in the textile, clothing and footwear industry, up 10.3% to $1.3 billion. This was the fourth increase in five months for the industry.

Following two months of declines, sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector rose 1.8% in October, to $12.0 billion. Higher sales in the subsector were largely attributable to a 1.8% gain in the food industry, mostly offsetting the industry's 2.0% decline in September.

The motor vehicle and parts subsector posted the lone decline in October, decreasing 2.3% to $11.8 billion. The motor vehicle industry accounted for most of the decline as sales fell for the first time in four months, down 3.1% to $9.6 billion.

Sales up in nine provinces, led by Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario

Wholesale sales in Quebec rose 3.2% to $11.5 billion in October after a 1.3% decline in September. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies (+19.4%) and the food, beverage and tobacco (+4.8%) subsectors.

In Saskatchewan, wholesale sales were up 10.1% to $2.4 billion, with higher sales in all seven subsectors. The majority of the gain was driven by the machinery, equipment and supplies (+15.1%) and the miscellaneous (+4.9%) subsectors.

Sales in Ontario rose 0.5% to $32.2 billion. The increase was attributable to higher sales in the personal and household goods (+5.4%) and the machinery, equipment and supplies (+3.0%) subsectors.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, wholesale sales were down 2.4% to $392 million. The food, beverage and tobacco (-4.2%) and the motor vehicle and parts subsectors were the main contributors to the decline.

Wholesale inventories increase for the sixth time in seven months

Wholesale inventories increased 0.8% to $82.1 billion in October, the sixth gain in seven months.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventories up in October
Inventories up in October

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+3.5%) led the increases, with higher inventories in all four industries in the subsector. In October, the increase was led by the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry (+3.5%). The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector has recorded increases in four of the past five months, increasing 7.0% over that period.

The food, beverage and tobacco subsector (+1.9%) rose for the eighth consecutive month, on the strength of the food industry (+2.1%). This was the subsector's largest monthly increase since November 2016.

Higher inventories in the personal and household goods subsector (+1.0%) were led by increased stock levels in the textile, clothing and footwear industry (+4.4%).

Movement in the miscellaneous subsector (-2.0%) was due primarily to a 2.8% decline in the agricultural supplies industry. This was the fourth consecutive decline for the miscellaneous subsector.

The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.31 in September to 1.30 in October. This 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 expressed in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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 Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey covers all industries within the wholesale trade sector as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), with the exception of oilseed and grain merchant wholesalers (NAICS 41112), petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers (NAICS 412) and business-to-business electronic markets, and agents and brokers (NAICS 419).

For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM tables 081-8011, 081-8012 and 081-8015 will be updated on January 8, 2018. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

Wholesale trade data for November 2017 will be released on January 22, 2018.

Products

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact John Burton (613-862-4878; john.burton@canada.ca), Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade Division.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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