Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 08:34

MNI DATA IMPACT:Canada Feb Wholesale Sls +0.3%;Ex Autos -1.5%

By Yali N'Diaye

OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the February data on the Canadian wholesale sales data released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:

- Canadian wholesale sales rose 0.3% in February, lifting the 12-month growth rate to 2.4% from 1.7% in January. February marked the third consecutive monthly increase.

- However, details showed activity was weak outside of the auto sector. Autos and parts sales jumped 9.5% after falling 2.1% in January, posting their largest increase since December 2015, entirely due to higher volumes. The only other category to post gains was miscellaneous sales (+0.5%). Together, the two subsectors represent 32% of wholesale trade.

- Illustrating the weakness of activity outside the auto sector, sales excluding autos and parts fell 1.5%, their largest decline since September 2017, entirely due to lower volumes. In particular, machinery and equipment fell 1.3% following a 1.9% drop the previous month, a negative sign for investment activity in Canada. On a 12-month basis, core sales rose 2.0%, their smallest increase since October 2016.

- Gains were also concentrated geographically, with only two provinces posting higher sales: Ontario and Saskatchewan.

- Inventories edged down 0.1% in February after rising 0.4% in January. As a result, the inventory-to-sales ratio declined to 1.42 from 1.43.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email:


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