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19.06.2013 13:00

Canada wholesale sales up 0.2% in April

Canadian monthly wholesale sales grew slightly less than expected in April as gains in the computers and communications equipment, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural supplies industries were partly offset by lower outlays on motor vehicles and food.

The value of sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, climbing 0.2% to 49.03 billion Canadian dollars ($48.02 billion), Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Sales volume, which feeds into the calculation of monthly economic output, grew 0.4%.

The consensus call was for the value of sales to rise 0.3%, according to a report from Royal Bank of Canada. The prior month's gain was revised down to 0.1% from the originally estimated 0.3%.

Only three of the seven sectors posted increases in April, accounting for about half the total sales.

The machinery, equipment and supplies sector was up 2.6% as sales of computers and communications equipment and supplies jumped 10.4%.

Sales of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies boosted the personal and household goods sector up 1.6%. An 8.9% spike in sales of agricultural supplies drove the catch-all miscellaneous sector up 0.7%.

The motor vehicles and parts sector declined 1.9%. Wholesalers of food, beverages and tobacco reported a 1.4% drop, dragged by lower food sales.

Overall wholesale inventories rebounded 0.3% following a revised 0.3% drop the prior month, which was originally estimated to have edged up 0.1%.

The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of the number of months taken to exhaust inventories if sales stayed at the current level, was steady at 1.26.

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