Statistics Canada says wholesale sales gained 0.2 per cent in November

OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada said Monday that wholesale sales gained 0.2 per cent in November to total $56.9 billion, as a drop in the auto sector limited overall gains for the month.

The second consecutive monthly increase fell short of the 0.5 per cent for the month that had been expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters; however, the October figures were revised 0.2 per cent higher than previously reported.

Wholesale sales growth in October was revised to 1.3 per cent compared with an earlier estimate of 1.1 per cent for the month.

CIBC economist Andrew Grantham said the “very modest advance” for November, follows solid but unspectacular readings for manufacturing and retail last week.

“Following those earlier readings for retail and manufacturing, GDP (gross domestic product) should be able to get back the ground that was lost in October, however probably not much more,” Grantham wrote in a report.

“As a result, the quarter should still be left tracking a modest 1.5 per cent growth rate.”

Wholesale sales rose in four of the seven subsectors in November, the miscellaneous subsector posting the largest gain in dollar terms.

The miscellaneous subsector gained 7.2 per cent to $7.4 billion boosted by the agricultural supplies industry, which gained 17.0 per cent in November.

Sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector fell 5.8 per cent to $10.5 billion, the second decrease in eight months.

In volume terms, overall wholesale sales fell 0.1 per cent in November.