Alberta recorded the largest decline in February in the wholesale sales sector, with sales down 3.4 per cent to $6.6 billion, according to Statistics Canada.
“This was the first decrease in three months and the lowest level since August 2017. Sales were down in six subsectors, led by the building material and supplies (-7.5 per cent to $1.0 billion), and the machinery, equipment and supplies (-2.6 per cent to $2.0 billion) subsectors,” said the federal agency on Tuesday.
Across Canada, wholesale sales increased 0.3 per cent to $63.7 billion in February, the third consecutive monthly gain. Higher sales were recorded in two of seven subsectors, led by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales declined 1.5 per cent. In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.3 per cent.
The federal agency said the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector reported the largest increase in February, as sales rose 9.5 per cent to $11.6 billion. Sales were up in all three industries, led by the motor vehicle industry (+11 per cent) following a 4.4 per cent decline in January.
“Following five consecutive monthly increases, wholesale inventories edged down 0.1 per cent to $90.7 billion in February. Inventories were down in four of seven subsectors, representing about 58 per cent of total wholesale inventories,” said StatsCan.
“The inventory-to-sales ratio fell slightly from 1.43 in January to 1.42 in February. This ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.”
– Mario Toneguzzi