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May 25, 2017

Canadian wholesale sales rose 0.9% in March

Statistics Canada reports that wholesale sales rose 0.9% in March and surpassed the $60 billion mark for the first time. Gains were recorded in four of seven subsectors, accounting for 60% of total wholesale sales, and were led by the building material and supplies subsector.

In the first quarter of 2017, wholesale sales were up 3.6% from the fourth quarter of 2016. This was the highest quarterly change since the second quarter of 2008.

The building material and supplies subsector recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, as sales rose 3.9% to a record high $8.4 billion on the strength of higher sales in the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry (+5.7%) and the metal service centres industry (+8.2%).

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector decreased 0.5% to $11.6 billion, and sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector edged down 0.2% to $11.6 billion.