Wholesale Sales Have Third Monthly Increase

Wholesale sales grew for a third consecutive month in July, rising 4.3 per cent to a record high $65 billion on the strength of higher sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector, says Statistics Canada. Excluding the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector, wholesale sales increased 1.8 per cent and wholesale sale volumes grew 4.2 per cent. It says the wholesale sector has demonstrated considerable resiliency as the Canadian economy started to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. July's sales were 0.6 per cent higher than the pre-COVID-19 level in February 2020. The recovery from the COVID-19-induced drop has been widespread in the wholesale sector, as most subsectors' sales have reached pre-pandemic levels. Provincially, wholesale sales were higher in eight provinces in July than February. Ontario and Prince Edward Island were the only provinces that had not returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. Wholesale inventories fell 0.4 per cent in July to $90.1 billion, their lowest level since April 2019. It was the third consecutive decline for stocks of wholesale goods. The inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.39 in July from 1.45 in June, the third consecutive decline, and also the lowest level since October 2018.