Canadian Wholesale Trade Up In July With Personal, Household Sectors Leading Gains


Wholesale sales rose for the third time in five months, up 1.5% to $63.9 billion in July, more than offsetting the 0.9% decline in June. Sales were up in four of seven sub-sectors, representing approximately 66% of total wholesale sales.

The personal and household goods; food, beverage and tobacco; and motor vehicle and parts sub-sectors led the gains in July, while the miscellaneous sub-sector posted the largest decline.

In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 1.2%.

Increase in July attributable to higher sales in four of seven sub-sectors

The personal and household goods sub-sector rose for the second consecutive month, up 4.2% to $9.2 billion in July. Sales were up in five of six industries, led by the textile, clothing and footwear, and personal goods industries. In volume terms, sales in the sub-sector increased 4.6%.

Following two consecutive months of declines, sales in the food, beverage and tobacco sub-sector were up 2.6% to $12.0 billion, mainly on the strength of higher sales in the food industry (+2.4%). The gain in July was partly attributable to an increase in prices as sales in the industry were up 1.6% in volume terms.

Sales in the motor vehicle and parts sub-sector increased 2.4% to $11.1 billion, the first gain in four months. While increases were reported in all three industries, the motor vehicle industry (+2.0%) contributed the most to the overall gain in July.

Of the three sub-sectors posting declines in July, the miscellaneous sub-sector was the largest contributor, edging down 0.2% to $8.2 billion. Two of the sub-sector’s five industries declined in July, accounting for approximately 41% of the sub-sector’s sales.

USD/CAD for Sept. 23-25, 2018.

USD/CAD for Sept. 23-25, 2018.

Sales up in six provinces

Sales increased in six provinces in July, which together represented 97% of total wholesale sales in Canada. Quebec and Ontario accounted for most of the gain.

Sales in Quebec increased for the third time in four months, up 3.2% to $11.9 billion in July. Six of seven sub-sectors increased, led by the personal and household goods (+5.8%) and the food, beverage and tobacco (+5.0%) sub-sectors. Sales in the personal and household goods sub-sector increased after two consecutive declines, reaching their highest level on record, while sales in the food, beverage and tobacco sub-sector increased for the second consecutive month.

Wholesale sales in Ontario rose for the second month in a row, up 1.1% to $32.6 billion in July, on the strength of higher sales in four of seven sub-sectors. The motor vehicle and parts sub-sector (+3.1%), which rose after three consecutive monthly declines, and the personal and household goods sub-sector (+4.0%), which increased for the second consecutive month, contributed the most to higher sales in Ontario.

In Alberta, sales increased for the third time in five months, up 2.5% in July to $7.0 billion. The machinery, equipment and supplies sub-sector (+4.9%) contributed the most to the gain. The gain in this sub-sector was attributable to higher sales reported in the construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry.

Sales in British Columbia rose 0.7% to $6.7 billion in July, on the strength of higher sales in the food, beverage and tobacco and the building material and supplies sub-sectors. Both sub-sectors increased following two consecutive monthly declines.

In dollar terms, the Atlantic provinces reported the largest decline in July. Sales in Newfoundland and Labrador decreased 4.6% to $354 million, on the strength of lower sales in the miscellaneous sub-sector.

The food, beverage and tobacco sub-sector contributed the most to the decline in Nova Scotia (-1.0%), New Brunswick (-0.8%) and Prince Edward Island (-0.8%).

EUR/CAD for Sept. 23-25, 2018.

EUR/CAD for Sept. 23-25, 2018.

Inventories rise in July

Wholesale inventories increased for the fifth time in seven months, up 1.4% to $87.1 billion in July. Gains were recorded in six of seven sub-sectors, representing 86% of total wholesale inventories.

In dollar terms, the personal and household goods sub-sector (+4.3%) recorded the largest gain, on the strength of higher inventories in five of six industries. This was the third consecutive monthly increase for the sub-sector.

Inventories in the building material and supplies sub-sector (+2.2%) grew for the fifth consecutive month in July. The increase was mostly attributable to gains in the electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies industry (+4.1%).

The food, beverage and tobacco sub-sector (+1.8%) posted a second consecutive monthly increase, mainly due to higher inventories in the food industry (+2.0%).

The machinery, equipment and supplies sub-sector (+0.6%) rose for the fifth time in seven months, on the strength of the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment industry (+1.5%).

The lone sub-sector to decline in July was motor vehicle and parts, down 0.8% following three consecutive monthly gains.

The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.36 in July. The ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current levels.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.



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