Wholesale sales in Alberta were up 0.1 per cent in August to $6.8 billion, according to Statistics Canada.
Sales declined in every province except Alberta in August, the federal agency said.
However, it said that on an annual basis sales were off by 2.2 per cent in the province.
Nationally, sales were down 1.2 per cent to $64.3 billion in August, the agency reported, largely offsetting the 1.4 per cent gain in July. Declines were recorded in five of seven subsectors, representing 85 per cent of wholesale sales. In dollar terms, the machinery, equipment and supplies, the personal and household goods, and the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsectors contributed the most to the decline in August. In volume terms, wholesale sales decreased 1.3 per cent in August, it said.
“The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector decreased for the second consecutive month, down 2.6 per cent to $13.3 billion in August. Sales declined in three of four industries, with the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry contributing the most to the downward movement. During the same period, imports of logging, construction, mining, and oil and gas field machinery and equipment also fell,” explained StatsCan.
Following 11 consecutive monthly gains, wholesale inventories declined 0.3 per cent to $93.4 billion in August. Decreases were recorded in five of seven subsectors, which together represented 70 per cent of total wholesale inventories, said the federal agency.
The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.44 in July to 1.45 in August as declines in sales overshadowed those in inventories. The inventory-to-sales ratio is a measure of the time (in months) required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.