Alberta sees uptick in wholesale trade sector

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Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryFollowing two consecutive declines, wholesale sales in Alberta increased 1.9 per cent to $6.9 billion in September primarily as a result of higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, says Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Monday that subsector rose by six per cent to $2.2 billion.

“While all industries within this subsector posted higher sales, the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry contributed the most. Despite the increase in September, year-to-date wholesale sales in Alberta were 0.5 per cent lower compared with the first nine months of 2018,” said StatsCan.

In Canada, wholesale trade rose one per cent to $65.1 billion in September, almost entirely offsetting the 1.2 per cent decline in August. Sales were up in five of seven subsectors, representing 82 per cent of total wholesale sales, it said.

“In dollar terms, the machinery, equipment and supplies, the personal and household goods, and the food, beverage and tobacco subsectors contributed the most to the increase in September, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector posted the largest decline,” said Statistics Canada.

“In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.9 per cent. In the third quarter, sales increased 0.8 per cent, the 14th consecutive quarterly increase. Quarterly sales increased in four of seven subsectors, led by the personal and household goods (+3.2 per cent) and the miscellaneous (+3.7 per cent) subsectors.”

Avery Shenfeld, an economist with CIBC Economics, said wholesale trade provided a nice lift to September economic activity in Canada that otherwise had looked fairly tepid. 

“The one per cent rise (0.9 per cent in real terms) mostly reversed the prior month’s 1.2 per cent drop, despite a drop in auto wholesaling that we thought would drag down the headline, as most other sectors showed gains. As a result, we’re raising our real GDP forecast for September to 0.2 per cent (from 0.1 per cent). Markets don’t typically react to this series, but might take note of the firmer real GDP print later this week that incorporates these data,” he said in a commentary note.

© Calgary’s Business

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